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Fiction:  Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance

“I'd rather die than live with no mercy, no honor, no soul.”

Title:  An Ember in the Ashes

By: Sabaa Tahir

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Book Group Leader: Chris Moran

Goodreads: 4.24 Stars

Amazon: 4.6 Stars

Ms. Smith’s Review:  5 Stars:  An Epic, Think ancient Rome!  This Romanesc novel is a page turner from the beginning.  One of the best from 2017.  LOVED it!


Green Mountain Book Award (GMBA) Nominee 2017, Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2017), Evergreen Teen Book Award Nominee (2018), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2016), Lincoln Award Nominee (2018)

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Debut Goodreads Author, and for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2015), The Magnolia Award Nominee for 9-12 (2018), Missouri Gateway Readers Award Nominee (2017


School Library Journal (January 1, 2015)

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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc

This is Sabaa Tahir’s first series.  If you LOVED this, check out book 2 entitled A Torch Against the Night.