Book Review – An Ember In The Ashes

So, my first review was going to be on  Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones but I decided instead to review a book I read recently that surprised me. An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir which is the first of a series. This book surprised me simply because it was good. The reason that it surprised me was because it was in the teen fantasy section at Barnes and Noble and, quite simply, I am fed up with that section. I occasionally browse through it to see if there are any books that look good that I could get for an easy read but, I swear, They Are All The Same. Dystopian or apocalyptic with an unlikely/unwilling downtrodden protagonist, usually female, with the occasional love triangle. For those reasons, after reading the synopsis the first time I saw the book, I passed it by. Next thing I know, my coworker who has similar book tastes to me asked me if I read it and when I said no she told me that I really should. So, because I trust my coworker’s inner book addict, I trusted her and bought the book. I can’t express to you how different it was from most other teen fantasy books.


Without spoilng anything, this book is about a girl whose family is killed one night because her brother is suspected of working for the rebellion. Her brother is taken prisoner and she does everything she can to free him which places her in harms way of the most dangerous assassin in the country, the Commandment. She works as the Commandment’s personal slave to try to gain valuable information for the rebellion who promises to free her brother in return.

Meanwhile, one of the assassin’s in training hates his life and hates the life of the assassin he was forced into and plans to escape one night only to change his mind last minute because of something he was told.

The book switches back and forth between those two POVs which I usually hate because I couldn’t care less about one or the other, but this was one of the few I didn’t mind so much.

I gave this book 5 stars on goodreads but I feel like it’s actually a 4.5 out of 5. Goodreads just won’t let you do half stars. Either way, I definitely would recommend this book if you like fantasy.


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