In the martial empire, inspired by ancient Rome, defiance is met with blood. Any flicker of resistance is instantly snuffed out. Instead the people’s hatred remains hidden, preparing for the right moment to release itself. Within the center of suspense, there are two embers in the ashes who are waiting to spark and burn: Laia, who risks her life to spy for the Resistance from within the Empire’s greatest military academy in order to rescue her brother from the Empire’s hands, and Elias, the academy’s finest soldier who only wants to be free of the tyranny that he is trained to enforce. Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither of them is free. However, together they have the power to change the fate of the Empire, but only if they find the courage to burn.
An Ember in the Ashes literally burns bright in my mind. The action-packed plot keeps the fire going throughout the novel. In contrast to the harsh setting and piercing story-line, the imperfect characters add a tinge of softness to the story. Laia is not the typical brave and brash heroine. She is also not the typical “normal” teenage character placed into a weird situation. Instead, Laia is a PERSON who is struggling with the guilt of running away. Elias, as well, is a PERSON who is struggling between mind and instinct. Both characters are definitely imperfect, but, in a way, that is what makes them perfect for this story. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to see “Ad Astra Per Aspera” in action. This is a story about how people can overcome hardships and reach for the stars.
Cassandra rates this book 5/5 stars