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.
About the book
An Ember in the Ashes is the first book in Sabaa Tahir’s quadrilogy with the same title. We are in a fantasy world where the Empire conquered and subdued the Scholars, people who were once very educated, but who are now forbidden from learning to read. Among these is our protagonist Laia (whom I called Laila until the middle of the book…) who lives with her grandparents and her older brother. One night she discovers her brother coming home late and asks for explanations. In fact, she discovered one of his drawings on which weapons of a place forbidden to him are represented. Shortly after, a Mask, soldiers of the empire with their faces covered, enters the house and kills the grandparents and arrest the brother. Laia manages to escape also thanks to the mask that tells her to run away.
Laia knows about the Resistance, a group of rebels who oppose the regime and search for them to help her free her brother because it is their fault if her brother has been found. And from here begins her adventure in the academy of Blackcliff where masks are trained. In fact, the leader of the rebels, after discovering that she is the daughter of their old leaders, decides to help her, but first she has to go on a mission to spy on the Commandant.
A powerful family with lots of secrets. A forensic artist with his own tragedies. And a hurricane drawing bearing down on their private island.
Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s almost perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.
But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.
Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.
Unraveling the family’s true history will be the key to Piper’s survival—or her certain death.
Genre: Suspense Published by: Thomas Nelson Publication Date: July 14th 2020 Number of Pages: 336 ISBN: 0785226184 (ISBN13: 9780785226185) Purchase Links:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
I actually don’t have a TBR pile. My books are all neatly placed in my bookshelves or “in my eReader”. No pile around my house. And yes I remember all the books that I still have to read and plus I have a piece of washi on the spine of the unread books. And I do have all the books in my house in a complete spreadsheet which I update each time I start and finish a book (or buy one).
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
About the book
Primodia is a world divided in eight kingdoms, four are Rhythms Kingdoms and four Season Kingdoms. The two types differ by the seasons, cyclic in the rhythms kingdoms and perpetual in the season kingdoms. The first are Yakim, Ventralli, Cordell e Paisly (hope they have these names in English, too) and it is easy to understand the season kingdoms names: Spring, Summer, Fall (or Autumn? Don’t know the English version, we have only one name for fall, not two!) and Winter. The last one, 16 years ago was conquered by Spring, enslaving its population and destroying the locket, power of the Winter’s magic. A group of refugees escaped and made the Raina Plains their home, plains that no one wants, and they are searching for the two pieces of the magical locket to restore magic and free the other Winterians, enslaved in Spring and forced to work for the King.
Primodia is a magical reign, but the access to that magic disappeared and what is left are magical “objects” that each king or queen owns. Moreover, four kingdoms are actually “queendoms” because only women can use magic and four are “kingdoms” because only men can use magic. Winter is a matriarchal reign but the Queen gave birth to a boy, prince, now king, Mather so only his daughter will be able, in the future, to use magic.
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.