"And you are woven through every dream. A thread of silver in a tapestry of night."
The book begins with a very disturbing and haunting scene. Laia's grandparents are brutally killed and her brother is arrested for treason. The book follows the dual perspectives of Laia and Elias. Laia, a sister on a path to find her brother who is imprisoned for treason by the Empire. And Elias, a potential successor of the Empire. He hates everything he's supposed to be and wishes to desert and break free. Their paths cross when Laia starts working as a slave girl for the Empire while spying for the Resistance group who promise her they will help in finding her brother in exchange for some information about the trials. The Resistance lead their lives by the code Izzat. Death before tyranny.
I did not expect this book to be so violent. It does not shy away from sensitive issues like abuse, slavery, and rape. These terrifying situations make the book real and helps in understanding how brutal and oppressed the nation is. It took me at least 100 pages to settle into the book as it was a bit tedious in the beginning and I was not sure I would like it, but I am glad I continued reading. I absolutely loved it.
"Like she was water and you were just dying of thirst."
You can't help but fall in love with the characters. Sabaa Tahir has written an impressive debut novel. Everything is so detailed about her writing. She has built this incredible world, Blackcliff Academy, the Scholars, Resistance etc. An Ember in the Ashes is a very comprehensive and quick read. The characters are so good that I even loved the despicable ones. I highly recommend this book to all the fantasy/fictional world lovers. The book definitely lives up to the hype. A massive 5 stars.