An Ember in the Ashes is about a girl named Laia who lives an ordinary life in the cruel, unforgiving Martial Empire–until her brother is taken to prison. To get him back she makes a deal with some rebels. In exchange for her brother, she must agree to spy on the toughest woman in the Empire, the Commandant of Blackcliff Military Academy. In other chapters, we get the POV of the Commandant’s son, Elias- the school’s finest soldier, and secretly its most unwilling- he plans to desert after graduation. Laia’s and Elias’ paths become interwoven, in a wonderful novel full of suspense, action and romance.
I’d recommend this book to everyone I know, because Sabaa Tahir’s writing is amazing and I really love the unique, suspenseful plot.
Mehek gives this book 5/5 stars.
Princess Ben is a fun, fairy-tale-like story with a strong female main character named Benevolence, Ben for short. When Princess Ben’s parents are killed by assassins, she ends up under the care of the strict Queen Sophia. As part of her intense princess training, Ben gets locked up in the castle’s highest tower. Just as everything is going super downhill, Ben finds an enchanted room where she learns magic. Using the magic she learns, Ben goes on a crazy adventure to save her Kingdom.
I loved this book so much!!! Princess Ben is so funny!! Benevolence is a very quirky character who has a very good sense of humor. I love watching her sneak around the castle and raid the castle pantries. Furthermore, Ben is a very strong willed main character which contrasts the more passive female characters in traditional fairy tales. The writing style of this book also flows very nicely, making the book a relatively easy-read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes humorous fairy tales. This book would also suit anyone who likes a very fast paced plot that is not focused on romance.
Cassandra Rates this book 5/5 Stars
This book is about how two runaways, Delilah Dirk and Mr. Selim, work together to plot the downfall of the evil pirate, Zakul. Delilah is caught trying to steal Constantinople’s king’s ancient scrolls, and ends up in the royal prison. She meets Mr. Selim here when he is sent to serve her tea, and when she escapes, he is framed for assisting her. So they both run away, and travel to distant towns on her flying boat, stealing loot from various places and giving it to the poor. Mr. Selim is unaccustomed to her life of being on the run, and decides to stay behind in one of the towns they run to, Kardaki. However, after a few months, he decides to go after her, and finds her as she is in the process of running from security guards. The book ends with them running away, once again partners in crime.
I would recommend this graphic novel to middle schoolers and above. It is very intriguing, and I especially enjoyed how the female is the “heroine”, or the main cause of action, and how the male is portrayed as more humble and obedient, as a contrast to a lot of the action filled books out there. Also, I liked how though the main characters were a man and a woman, there was never any romance between them. The whole message of the book was about how loyalty and friendship are more important, which confirms the platonic relationship between them. The pictures speak more than the words, which is mainly what makes it appropriate for the younger crowd. Nevertheless, it is still a gripping read, and is great for all ages.
Surya rates this book 4.5/5 stars.