An Ember in the Ashes (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A high fantasy like you’ve never read before, An Ember in the Ashes is told from alternating perspectives by Laia, a slave, and Elias, a soldier. Laia is part of the scholar class, already an oppressed class on the edge of survival. Because of her brother’s treason against the Empire’s ruling class, Laia has been sold into slavery to the head of the military academy. Elias is graduating from the same academy, a brutal and unforgiving school that trains brutal and unforgiving soldiers. His attempt to escape his destiny are unsuccessful, but his fate becomes intertwined with Laia’s and they work together from within the academy to take down the military and the Empire’s ruling class.

— From Holiday Picks 2015


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Torch Against the Night


"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.

About the Author

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California's Mojave Desert at her family's eighteen-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother's comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. For more information, please visit Sabaa at or on Twitter @SabaaTahir.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781595148032
ISBN-10: 1595148035
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Pages: 464
Language: English
Series: Ember in the Ashes