An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

Overview - Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Click Here to Read the First Two Chapters!

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire.

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More About An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Click Here to Read the First Two Chapters!

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

Elias is the academy's finest soldier-- and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he's ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. When Laia and Elias's paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

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Praise for "An Ember In The Ashes"

- “I was so engrossed with this book that I missed a connecting flight. If that doesn’t convince you to read An Ember in the Ashes, I don’t know what will. An explosive, heartbreaking, epic debut that will keep you glued to the pages. I hope the world’s ready for Sabaa Tahir.”—Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of "Legend"

- “A setting inspired by ancient Rome; a fierce battle for freedom in the face of tyranny; and a villain who makes Cersei Lannister and Dolores Umbridge look like a pair of pathetic amateurs . . . ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ is at the top of our must-read list for 2015.”—

- “Perfect for fans of Maggie Stievater's The Scorpio Races or Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass series…The book is already set to be a film, which will be EPIC!” –

- “An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory…It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.”— Public Radio International

- “An epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.”–

  • ISBN-13: 9781595148032
  • ISBN-10: 1595148035
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 464
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP

Series: Ember in the Ashes #1

Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Politics & Government
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Love & Romance

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-02
  • Reviewer: Staff

As one of the conquered Scholar people, Laia has grown wary of the ruthless Masks that enforce the Martial empire’s laws. But the lesson doesn’t hit home until Masks imprison her brother for aiding the Scholar Resistance. Desperate to save him, Laia agrees to spy for the rebels as a slave in Blackcliff, the hellish school where Masks are trained. Her mission becomes all the more dangerous when the empire’s prophetic Augurs announce that, for the first time in centuries, four newly graduated Masks will compete for the emperor’s throne. One of these “Aspirants,” Elias, had been on the verge of desertion before he was chosen, and he only stays to compete because of the Augurs’ warning that he will never know freedom unless he undergoes the Trials. Tahir’s deft, polished debut alternates between two very different perspectives on the same brutal world, deepening both in the contrast. In a tale brimming with political intrigue and haunted by supernatural forces, the true tension comes from watching Elias and Laia struggle to decide where their loyalties lie. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)

BAM Customer Reviews