An ember in the ashes

Sabaa Tahir

Book - 2015

"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"--

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Tahir, Sabaa
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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Tahir, Sabaa Due Aug 17, 2022
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Subjects
Published
New York, New York : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House [2015]
Language
English
Physical Description
446 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781595148032
1595148035
Main Author
Sabaa Tahir (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Laia's adventures begin after her brother is taken captive by the reigning, warlike Martials, who have subjugated her people, the Scholars. In an attempt to save him, she enters into a dangerous agreement with the Resistance to spy on the fiendish commandant of the Martial's military academy. In the meantime, the commandant's son, Elias, the finest soldier at the academy, is undergoing a series of trials that will determine the next emperor of the Martial Empire, which loosely recalls the Roman Empire, though this one is no stranger to magic and the supernatural. Though born enemies, Laia's and Elias' lives will come together with unpredictable results that involve a love triangle of sorts. First-time novelist Tahir has written an ambitious sword-and-sand adventure story that is notable for its suspense and scope. There are flaws: the diction is sometimes not as fresh as it might be, and some incidents defy credulity, especially those propelling the ending, which, not surprisingly, is inconclusive enough to promise a sequel. Many readers drawn in by the action and romance will doubtless look forward to it.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With 19 international markets already sold, as well as an option to Paramount Pictures, this debut has already earned its upcoming author tour, multimedia ad campaign, and more. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—This strong debut novel is set in the Martial Empire, a fantasy world based on ancient Rome. Elias Veturius is the scion of a proud Martial military family and an outstanding soldier, but he dreams of escaping Blackcliff Academy, the elite military academy where he has nearly completed his training as a Mask, and his inevitable future as a ruthless killer. Elias and three fellow students will be facing the Trials, dangerous and rigorous challenges that will determine the next emperor. Laia is a Scholar, one of many oppressed groups living under the rule of the Martials. When nearly all of Laia's family is killed and her brother is arrested for having a sketchbook depicting Martial weapons, she goes to the Resistance in desperation. The rebel leaders plant her as a spy at Blackcliff Academy, where she must pose as the personal slave of the Commandant, promising that in return they will rescue her brother. Elias and Laia become romantically involved as they face treachery and political machinations. Tahir's world-building is wonderfully detailed and the setting is an unusual one for fantasy novels. All of her characters, even minor ones, are fully realized. In particular, the Commandant is a genuinely evil and frightening villain. The author doesn't pull any punches; her descriptions of torture, punishment, and battle are graphic and brutal, and her realistic depictions of the treatment of slaves include rape and physical abuse. For fans of Game of Thrones and of Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock (Candlewick, 2010).—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ [Page 116]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Going undercover as a slave in her brutal empire's military academy when her brother is arrested for treason, scholar Laia bonds with a talented but reluctant soldier who is being forced to participate in a ferocious contest to determine the next Martial emperor. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for the assistance of rebel Scholars in saving him from execution.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

BOOK ONE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIESOne of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All TimeOne of Time Magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time Instant New York Times bestsellerFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa TahirAmazon's Best Young Adult Book of 2015People's Choice Award winner - Favorite FantasyBustle's Best Young Adult Book of 2015 “This novel is a harrowing, haunting reminder of what it means to be human — and how hope might be kindled in the midst of oppression and fear.” — The Washington Post “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 Ember in the Ashes glows, burns, and smolders—as beautiful and radiant as it is searing."—Huffington Post “A worthy novel – and one as brave as its characters.” —The New York Times Book Review 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. 

Review by Publisher Summary 5

BOOK ONE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIESInstant New York Times bestsellerFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa TahirAmazon's Best Young Adult Book of 2015People's Choice Award winner - Favorite FantasyBustle's Best Young Adult Book of 2015 “This novel is a harrowing, haunting reminder of what it means to be human — and how hope might be kindled in the midst of oppression and fear.” — The Washington Post “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 Ember in the Ashes glows, burns, and smolders—as beautiful and radiant as it is searing."—Huffington Post    “A worthy novel – and one as brave as its characters.” —The New York Times Book Review  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.