An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Book

Overview (No Spoilers):

One of my best friends, Kari, always recommends amazing books, which prior to I have heard nothing regarding. My blog is scattered with many, many of her recommendations, from the Queen of the Tearling to I’ll Give you the Sun. As such, when she texted me a few weeks ago telling me I needed to read, An Ember in the Ashes, I promptly ordered the book, excited that I would only need to wait a few weeks for its sequel to be released (August 30, 2016). Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. This book was amazing! The story follows two main characters from opposing sides, i.e., the victors and the oppressed, and their struggle to survive in their respective lives. Most entertaining are the brave female leads, Laia, who is a member of the enslaved, Scholars, and Helene who is one of the rare women graduating from the school of the Masks. Tahir does an amazing job weaving a tale that keeps the reader on their toes as the story quickly transitions from one of escape to lethal trials with the winner becoming emperor as each character becomes more and more ensnared in a desperate situation that seems inescapable. Overall, I couldn’t put down The Ember in the Ashes and I can’t wait to see where Tahir will take this story line, as she has captured my attention, hook, line and sinker.

Additional Insight (Contains Spoilers):

  1. Who is Elias’s father? Why hasn’t Elias’ mask fully merged with his face? Also, what is going on with the Commandant’s tattoo?
  2. How will the head jinn, the King of No Name, i.e., Nightbringer become satisfied with revenge or how will they defeat him? Why hasn’t Laia asked anyone about the fact that she saw Nightbringer in Elias’ mother’s chambers? Is he manipulating Mazen?
  3. Who betrayed Laia’s parents? Based on what one of the ghul’s said, I’m guessing it was her sister. “I’m as real as death, little Laia. Real as shattered bones and traitorous sisters and hateful Masks.” If that is the case, perhaps she is still alive and will make her appearance in the next book as our heroes travel to the Mask’s legendary prison?
  4. How will Helene escape the horrors of Marcus? Will anyone else find out about her healing powers?
  5. Whose side are the Augur on? What future have they glimpsed? Why are they helping Laia? For that matter, why is the magic coming back to the world?
  6. Who is the Cook and why does she freeze when she starts to talk about the past?
  7. Who is the current spy in the Rebellion? Is Elias’ mother making new weapons using her brother’s designs? Will she be able to save her Darin?



  1. Yes! I’ve found another Emberling. Welcome to the club. 🙂

    You’ve listed some good questions. I hope we get to see who Elias’ father is in the next book, which is coming out in about ten days! (Ahem. Excuse my giddiness. I just love this book.) I believe Sabaa explained that Elias’ mask has yet to bond to him because of his desire to rebel. Or something along the lines of that. The masks in this book are rather intriguing, and maybe the sequel will delve more into them (or that’s my hope at least).

    While reading, I wondered if Cook is the one who betrayed Laia’s parents. Or perhaps she may know who has and must stay silent to protect herself and others.

    I’m glad that we get to see Helene’s POV in A Torch against the Night. But I’m hesitant she’ll have a good run as the new Blood Strike.

    I’m glad you liked the book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Siobhan! Emberling! I love it!
      I feel like there more be more to Elias’ mask not bonding than his desire to run away but yes I agree with you that I want to learn more about these masks!
      I feel like Cook being the traitor is too obvious. I really think it was the sister based on what the ghul said to Laia.
      I didn’t know that we would be treated to Helene’s POV! One week!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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