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2015 Diversity Reading Challenge

An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I took An Ember in Ashes with me when I went on vacation. It’s gotten alot of press since it came out and I was dying to get my paws on it! It’s the perfect kind of book to read on vacation: plenty of action!

An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I LOVE a book that starts out with good action. I also love a book that contains good character development. I was enthralled with An Ember in Ashes from page one.  Here’s the blurb:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

 

Fortunately for me, I didn’t read the blurb so I had no idea about the two of them. The “romance” unfolded naturally to me and didn’t seem all that forced. A bit convenient, perhaps, but not forced. The niggling feeling I had while reading the book was the violence.

There was so much of it! Perhaps I’m too much of a grown up to enjoy people smacking the snot out of each other, but the violence unraveled me.  Violence for the sake of violence?  I could see if the characters were fighting a war and bloodshed is a side effect, but this kind of violence was unnerving. Not enough keep me from finishing the book, though. Once I started the book, I could not put it down!

Apologies to Sheila at Wands and Worlds who loaned me the book.  I *may* have taken the book in the pool as I couldn’t stop myself from reading.

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Do mermaids read? Cuz if they do, then I’d like to be one. If the book is returned to Sheila a teeny bit waterlogged I’m sorry. #notsorry

The great thing about reading books is talking to people about them afterwards, right? Imagine my delight when Sheila and I were able to share our thoughts and concerns about the book over Twitter. Then Kim joined us and it was like a book club!

Don’t want to give anything away. No spoilers here, folks! Grab a copy of the book and decide for yourself if the book is too violent! Also, this qualifies as a Diversity Read, woot!!

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.