Review (Rant?) of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Wow… I read this book with a bunch of people on bookstagram and everyone else seemed to love it while I was possibly the only one commenting about how much I hated everything. *imagine me typing shit with a shriveled face*

Oh wait stop imagining that for I haves the gifs-

typing shit.gif

The plot as I see it: This book is basically about a girl named Laia who turns into a spy for the rebel group when her brother is arrested for treason against the Empire. She penetrates the Empires military academy to gain information as a slave and meets Elias, the Academy’s finest trainee. But Elias doesn’t want this life of tyranny and wants to run away but as the trials to be the next Emperor turns brutal and unfair, Laia and Elias must decide which direction the future of the Empire moves towards.

First let’s talk about the good stuff because they are few BAHAHA!

23286931I love the writing style. No problems there. I loved Helene. I think she was the BEST character in the entire freaking book.

I loved the supernatural shit that kept going down every now and then out of nowhere for seemingly no reason. And I absolutely and totally enjoyed all the blood and action.

The torture scenes was written in such cruel detail that every time I came across one scene I would immediately be sucked into the book… and then thrown out when it was over.

And that my peeps, is the end of the good stuff. Now let’s begin with the stuff that made me want to kill myself.

Laia… and Elias. Just nope! I don’t see anything happening between them. It felt so forced. It’s so obvious that Elias and Helene are the perfect match but NUUUUU Laia and Elias feel physically attracted to each other so obviously this is the perfect choice and not Helene and Elias who have known each other, and have grown up together and protected each other for forever. Also, it was an insta-love!

The world building! It’s not there. There are no beautiful descriptions of the land/villages/academy. There is no history, no culture, no religion, no nothing! You can’t just give us a map and call it the end of world building. Is this not FANTASY?!

The trials were a load of bullshit. They made NO SENSE! Just like the trials that Celaena had in Throne of Glass (Except in this book they actually described it unlike TOG). There was just random stuff happening that proved nothing. It was like everything was just tailored for Elias to pass because he just happened to know all the tricks to it and by the end we knew that, that was in fact the case.

And that concludes this review/rant session. I did end up reading the second book in this series because I was reading it with a group of people and it was fun and I didn’t want to stop just because I disliked the book. Yes, I know, you can throw your tomatoes at me.

So expect the review for the second book soon!

Tell me what you thought about this book in the comments below! I know many people loved this book and I’m in no way trying to shame others for liking it. It’s just my opinion so feel free to disagree.

Lots of love and sand up your butt,



8 thoughts on “Review (Rant?) of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

  1. I haven’t read this book but you make very valid points! How can a fantasy book not have proper world building?! We can’t be expected to guess at the history and culture of this world. Description is so important in this genre and is one of the reasons I love it.
    Great honest review! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI FIVE ME, MY FRIEND! I COULDN’T AGREE MORE! I absolutely think it’s ridiculously dumb when books put characters through these kind of “trials” for noooo reason. Like, mate, you just killed off MORE THAN HALF YOUR ARMY. How the heck do they even HAVE an army when they only have 3 people left out of hundreds doing trials?!? It’s stupid. 🙄🙄 And I definitely didn’t ship Laia and Elias either. (HELENA WAS EVERYTHING!!!) I also am desperately waiting for better world building in fantasies hhaha…this was, not there.
    So I’m with you. 🙈🙊 We can be the sad minority opinion for this together. 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t love this book either. I did like that the characters seemed to want to just run away from a corrupt country rather than “change the world” as is usual in YA books, but I assume by book 2 that they change their minds and want to overthrow their kind of dystopian government. So I didn’t read book 2. :p I didn’t think the characters or setting were that vivid, though, and I felt like, for the fact the characters are attending a school, we barely met any other students or people who go there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true! We hardly got to see much of the other students that weren’t crucial to the plot.

      I have read book two though, and so far they haven’t been moved to change the government but Helene is sort of there (okay no spoilers, moving on) but overall it was a disappointing read.


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