Genre: Teens/YA, Fantasy

Age: 15+

Recommendation: Absolutely, this would appeal to anyone who enjoys reading dystopian themed reads with strong heroine and a great plot.

Type: Series, the second book A Torch Against the Night is set to be released August 30, 2016.

Pages: 457

Pricing: Great-ish. Currently $2.99 on Kindle and B&N for e-book, less than $10.00 for the paperback . The next book jumps to $10.99 for the e-book and about $15.00 for hardcover. Don’t see a paperback option at this time.

Summary: An all around wonderful read. +awesome world building +descriptive and continuous action  +not overpowered by romance +complex characters +entertaining dialogue +original plot +great antagonist +strong heroine


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

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.

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.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Full Review:

An Ember in the Ashes is a burning force in the realm of dystopian themed reads. By combining a heroine deserving of respect, an oppressive and violent society and a covertly rising rebellion, Tahir has given both teen and adult readers something to completely immerse themselves into. Written through the dual point of view’s of Elias and Laia, An Ember in the Ashes provides the reader with an insight to both sides of the conflict. Elias, a bastard soldier, mothered by one of the cruelest assassins ever to serve as commandant of the Empire’s elite military academy and top of his class is secretly burdened with the knowledge that he will be expected to spend his life mowing down and killing Scholars. He tires of the continued violence and harshness expected of those in the Empire, knowing that anything but complete compliance and servitude to the cause with lead to a slow death.

Laia is a Scholar, a member of the people conquered by the Empire and their silent assassins known as “Masks”. A healer who spends her time working with her grandmother and grandfather, Laia has grown up in fear of attracting attention. After her house is raided and her brother taken, Laia escapes with her life and flee’s to the only people she can think of, the Resistance. Tasked with earning the effort it takes to free her brother, Laia attempts to infiltrate Blackwood Academy and retrieve information that will aid the cause.

The world building in this book is very well done. All the complex hierarchy is explained and you get a very good understanding of how this world works. Laia and Elias, as well as the other more prominent characters are well-developed and have complex emotions. I really enjoyed that the development between them both is slow, realistic even. The antagonist is cruel, relentless and fear inducing. The treatment that Laia is subjected to does contain some trigger topics so be aware, there is mention of non-consensual sex and abuse several times. The action is continuous and the book moves at a great pace. Doesn’t rush but doesn’t drag either. The emotions the characters feel in this book are organic and make them seem overwhelmingly human.

I really enjoyed reading this and I plan to purchase the next book even though the pricing has drastically increased.

On Amazon: An Ember in the Ashes

On B&N: An Ember in the Ashes

On Goodreads: An Ember in the Ashes

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this book from B&N. The opinion and comments in this review are honest and are my own.