An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Format: audiobook
Publisher: Listening Library
Narrators: Fiona Hardingham and Steve West


Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is 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.

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 they will help to save her brother from execution.

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.

When Laia and Elias’ 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.


I have heard how great this story is for a while now. Everyone seems to have loved the first book.  Even with all the hype, and my high expectations, this story didn’t disappoint.

The narration of this book is sublime. Both narrators do an excellent job bringing the characters to life. If their physical actions are as good as the voice acting, I’d pay to see the show and likely go multiple times.

The story is enthralling. Both lead characters, Laia and Elias, are in a sticky situation. Neither realizes the other could likely help with their problem. This makes for interesting scenes where they cross paths and must interact. One is trapped as a soldier doing as instructed, and looking for the opportunity to desert. The other watches as her brother is taken prisoner, and her grandparent’s are killed in front of her. Then she signs up with some rebels to find leverage and people who will help rescue her brother.

The way things end leaves you wanting the next book. Thankfully the second book, A Torch Against the Night, is already out, with the third book being released next month. I hope to be listening to A Torch Against the Night shortly and I’ve preordered A Reaper Against the Gates which will be released June 12, 2018.