An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Published April 28th 2015 by by Razorbill
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Review by Tina
SynopsisUnder 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.
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.
My ReviewThe story development could use a lot of work. Maybe because it's a new author and this is her debut novel but her scenes are chaotic and messy at times.
There are quite a few changes I'd like to make with the story:
1. Why does Keenan turn soft so quickly in the beginning stages of the story? He is described as a soldier with a cold stone face who is more about fighting for a cause and keeping his group safe than wasting resources on a rescue mission. He softens and falls for the heroine in the beginning chapters when the attraction is unwarranted and unnecessary. His character development needs more time to make this believable.
2. Mazen, shady from the start; I find it surprising how long it took his men to see him as conniving and manipulative. All that mystery was to show a simple plot at the end *shakes my head*. Worst resistant leader.
3. By the latter chapters, I cringed through Laia's whining, misfortunes, and naivete. If it was a standalone book solely on Elias, I would warm up to the story more. Part III underwhelmed me.
4. Despite the flourishing recommendations from well established authors, the book does not meet my standards for an epic civil war novel. The story starts off well but slowly became disengaging and the ending makes me not want to continue with the series.