There’s nowhere to run, I realize as we pass beneath Blackcliff’s iron-spiked portcullis and into the fabled grounds. There’s nowhere to go. There’s no other way to save Darin.

I’m in now. And there is no going back.                Laia

An Ember in the Ashes should be classified as a thriller – a roller coaster of intensity that you won’t want to step off. Sabaa Tahir had my attention from page one (and kept it!). There are some books that are great and you read them, and set them down, and then move on to the next, but then there are other books that are not simply read but watched in your mind like an IMAX experience – surround sound – caution objects may appear closer than they are – type of book.

Laia and her family live in constant fear and degradation, never wanting to catch the attention of the Empire and yet, one of the Empire’s deadliest soldiers, a Mask, comes at night, dealing death. Laia may have escaped, but her new life as a spy for the resistance makes her a slave for the very institution that breeds oppression. It is in Blackcliff, training ground of Masks, that Laia meets Elias. Separate they are powerful, together, they could change the world.

Laia and Elias have come from completely different backgrounds but both characters have an intrinsic determination to not only set wrongs right but to forge an unwavering path through deadly situations. The oppression forced on a people from power-hungry Empires easily relates to much of the world’s history and reads more historical than fantasy. Tahir has created a world that you will not soon forget, a world of death and survival, betrayal and trust. A Torch Against the Night, the sequel to Ember, promises continued adventure as it follows Laia and Elias’s journey.

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