'An Ember in the Ashes' is a book about Elias Veturius, a 20 year old "soldier" and Laia, who is about three years younger and comes from the lower class. When her brother gets kidnapped she is forced to run off and seeks help to save him, but in... 'An Ember in the Ashes' is a book about Elias Veturius, a 20 year old "soldier" and Laia, who is about three years younger and comes from the lower class. When her brother gets kidnapped she is forced to run off and seeks help to save him, but in return she has to put her own life at risk. Elias has been at Blackcliff for 14 years. 14 years of training how to kill and survive. But as he passes every exam without failure he realizes that his actions aren't just. Elias wants to leave but if he does that they will find him, torture him and then kill him. Honestly, I have been waiting so long for this book. Finally we have middle-eastern p.o.c. characters as protagonists that aren't exploited due to their religion or culture. In the mainstream culture of the typical "short girl with fiery red hair" this book stands out by the fact that there are a lot more p.o.c. characters than white people. Which is a very important message to little girls all over the world that get disappointed every time they open a book and realize there is no diversity in that story. You can't imagine how happy I was when I saw that my middle name (a very common middle name in the arabic-turkish culture) was also the name of a character (I cried) or that Elias was actually Ilyas before going to Blackcliff. Also the plot! OH MY! Both of our protagonists are constantly in danger and it actually drains the reader because you love at least one of them and you don't want them to die. And as if that isn't enough the tension increases with every chapter until the very last page. There is no way of getting bored throughout this book. It also has a very fitting touch of magic and fantasy. Creatures we know from arabic stories appear and improve the story perfectly. The characters: Elias Veturius is just too pure for this world. A young man that is constantly afraid of himself, because he might become a bad person with too much power. Laia is a little different. She is young and still tries to find herself. Her character is still very fragile since she is a teenager, but she has a very clear sense of what is right and wrong. Most of us can identify better with her than with other heroines that are just brave and courageous by default. Helene Aquilla is the very definition of a smart, independent and strong woman. She has trained along Elias for 14 years and is just as deadly as an opponent as he is. There are two antagonists, whose names I will not tell you because it might spoil some parts for you. One is a very nebulous character. We do not know much about this person at first but we know enough to fear confrontation with said character. The other just repelled me. This was such a horrible person with rape fantasies and a sadist mind that every time the person entered a scene my hands started to shake with fear and hatred. In conclusion! This book is great! It has great characters, a plot that doesn't keep you waiting, a world with magic and violence and a tiny love-story that is only mentioned along the plot, but doesn't interfere with anything else. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a little tension in the plot and a little touch of fantasy.
This is a gripping tale of an oppressed people and their fight to overthrow their usurpers. We have a two perspective narration, and there are two narrators for this audio book. Both Fiona Hardingham and Steve West are doing a great job! The topic reminded me of another favourite... This is a gripping tale of an oppressed people and their fight to overthrow their usurpers. We have a two perspective narration, and there are two narrators for this audio book. Both Fiona Hardingham and Steve West are doing a great job! The topic reminded me of another favourite of mine, namely the Red Rising series. I thought it was a funny coincidence that both series have a Roman theme going: names, legionaries, etc. Then again, the old Romans were a martial people who conquered lots of the European peoples of their time, so the theme probably suggests itself. It took me only 1.5 days to listen to the whole story, I didn't manage to put it down (i.e. switch it off). I've bought and downloaded the sequel now. As usual, I subtracted a star because the story isn't really finished. OK, so there is no big cliffhanger, but there are lots of loose ends, and as a stand-alone, this book would have been unsatisfying. Still, it's a great story that drew me right in and at the ending spat me out wanting more.