Booktalk: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS) ft. EllaRybe

Hello everyone and welcome to the first book talk of the HannaRybe bookclub!

Hanna (from Hanna’sBooksandBananas) and I (Anna from EllaRybe) decided to join our brains and start a book club and after a lot of months, here is our long-awaited book talk oooof……….. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir! I know that we should have done this quite some time ago but school became very stressful and I couldn’t have a single minute to read… I’M SO SORRY GUYS!

First and foremost, I’m going to tell you how this book talk is going to go. Here you can see two different colors: black and purple. When you see something written in black means that I (Anna) am speaking while purple means that Hanna is the one who’s talking. We will post this book talk on both of our blogs and on our Goodreads page! Feel free to check the out 🙂

So, without further ado, Hanna, can you tell us something about the book that we have read?

An Ember in the Ashes is written from our two main characters’ Elias and Laia’s perspectives as we follow their lives and learn their struggles as they fight for freedom. The Martial Empire (very similar to The Roman Empire) had been once ruled by the scholars, but then the Martials came and overthrew the scholars turning them into slaves. Laia is one such scholar slave who lives with her brother and her grandparents manly working with her parents in helping the injured and curing the sick through herbal treatment with different kinds of medicine plants. The Martials are trained from when they are little. They are taken away from their families and friends and sent off to be trained to become Masks. The horrific assiasint/soldiers whose sole purpose is serving the Emperor’s wishes and commands. Elias is one such soldier, who all his life had been dreaming of freedom.

When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason in having worked secretly with the Resistance, Laia seeks out the rebels for help. This leads to the rebels sending Laia to one of the most elite schools Blackcliff to spy for them, only when Laia provides the information they seek will the Resistance help her in finding her brother and saving him from the horrible death that meets those who betrayed the Empire.

Laia enters the school as a slave to spy on the Commander (a vicious woman who’s also the principal of the school and has close ties to the Emperor), and there she meets Elias. Soon they find that even though they are so different, both want to fight for the same thing and that is freedom. In this book both characters are met by the weight of their decisions, and fear of what could happen plays a key role in the development of bravery for both of them. But what can only a slave girl and a trained soldier achieve?

So, first of all, I have to say that it was an awesome book! Even though I had a mini break from it, I loved it nonetheless. What did you think about it?

I would have to agree with you completely! I was blown away by both the characters and the whole plot! I found it really hard to put it down ever since the first page.

Yeah, same here! I loved the fact that there were different points of view! Both of them were so gripping that I couldn’t put it down! But maybe my fave point of view was Elias’. When he talked, I felt like more things were happening whilst Laia’s one was at times a bit boring for my taste.

I do agree on that! If I had to choose one which I prefer I’d also choose Elias’. I did see some of the other peoples’ reactions to Laia’s character and many thought of her as pretty weak and a total coward.

Oh, I see why you are saying this but Laia has a lot of development! In the end, she is a total badass, saving Elias, blowing up half of Blackclifff… and well she had to be brave to escape Blackcliff and meet with the Resistance first of all.

Yes, I thought that too! I really fall for character development, especially if it’s done this well. But I think that even in situations where she was scared she always chose the logical alternative and had a logical reason to be scared! I could fully relate to her anxiety and nervousness while spying on someone like the Commandant. My favorite part of her development was when she was brave enough to decide to send her friend, Izzy, to meet up with Keenan, who had promised her safety, instead of herself. That moment when she fully decided she was going to save Elias and escape was my favorite.
What moment was your fave one?

OMG that final moment was marvellous! I loved that Elias was now relying on Laia and not the opposite. HELL YEAH FOR FEMALE EMPOWERMENT!
Maybe my favourite moment from the book was the Moon Festival scene, when Elias and Laia meet and they don’t know that they are each other ( well at least in Laia’s point of view).
I fell in love when they danced together!

The Moon Festival was such a magical moment! I wish we had it in real life, the author just described it so well and I loved every single moment of it! The Laia/Elias ship began right there and then for me!

That moment was the one when the ship began for me too! But the real question here is: Team Elias or Team Keenan? I’m still pretty indecisive on which one to choose! Elias is the perfect man but Keenan is such a cutie… well, he is badass too but you understand me.

OH, THE STRUGGLE. I do understand you fully! Both are perfect in their own way. Elias is the REAL DEAL and Keenan’s emotions and thoughts are just so well written and I still have a thing for redheads (JK Rowling damned me with the Weasley twins).

haha well for most of the book my heart stayed with Keenan if I have, to be honest. I feel like he has more reasons to fall in love with Laia and sometimes it seems like Elias only wants Laia for her looks. And the part where Keenan tells Laia that thing about her father I was like OMG why can’t you just marry her, please!!

Oh now that you mention it! I feel as though the relationship between Laia and Keenan has so much more depth than the one between Laia and Elias. They value each other for their skills and even though he wasn’t confident about her coming back from the missions you can see how surprised he was and how much he supported her afterward! I believe that they have more understanding of each other’s flaws and characteristics so I’m kind of leaning towards Team Keenan here haha.

I feel like the next book is going to end up with Izzy and Keenan together. It would be so uncomfortable if Laia and Elias meet with Izzy and Keenan and there is still the love triangle… Well, we all know that Elias is going to end up with Laia after all…

It would be such a great twist if they didn’t though, like if she ended up with Keenan. But I do HOPE Izzy and Keenan doesn’t end up together! Izzy does deserve someone like Keenan but I don’t really see any chemistry happening.
But I’m very worried for Helene in the second book! She became the second to the crowned Emperor Marcus and we all know he’s the biggest pain in the ass to ever exist. Though I’m confident in her strong character.

Oh, poor Helene! I think that she is going to do fine though… she is very strong so I hope that she can endure what our beloved ( jokes) Marcus will do to her. She is obviously very loyal so this means that she will have to do terrible things but well… she did everything she could to save Elias.

Losing best friends who you grew close with through thick and thin is so much worse than losing a lover and this makes the whole situation of Elias being a refugee from the law and Helene having to probably hunt him so much worse. Although I wasn’t a fan of her falling in love with him, I do love them as a duo in combat. Reminded me of our fellow parabatais :’).

OMG, you are so right! She also reminded me of Izzy a bit! (oh our famous The Mortal Instruments buddy reads, how I miss them… :’) ).
Also, I have to say that one of the coolest parts for me was the trials. It reminded me of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire! They were so brutal (specially the third one when they have to fight each other). I truly believed that Elias had killed Helene! I couldn’t stop crying!

Same here! The trials also reminded me too of Harry Potter. The trials were so brutal, I had that feeling of “someone’s going to die on the next page OH GOD”. But the description of the fight scenes was so good I usually am not interested in them all that much but in this book, I could easily picture everything. I have to say this book would be so easy to remake as a movie or tv show without much struggle and I’d LOVE to see it!

OMG YES PLESE I WOULD TOTALLY PAY TO SEE THIS! Some said that it was similar to Game of Thrones and they are sooo right! I just wish that they make Matt Daddario be Elias! I wouldn’t hesitate to watch it if they do so.

THE IDEAL CAST is definitely Matt Daddario Anna you’re a genius! I have to agree it did remind me of Game of Thrones which is probably why I loved it so much!
The book had also some magical additions to it, the Genies and those dark creatures that drain you also reminded me so much of Game of Thrones where Magic also plays a center role.

Oh and what about the Augurs? They were pretty scary at first but I really liked Cain! Also, there’s this woman Augur that helps Laia that really intrigues me! Why is she helping her and why is she the only woman Augur?!

She probably knows something none of us do and that makes me so mad and eager to read the next book! But I agree, I expected the book to have a kind of major discrimination towards women since it was compared to the Roman Empire, but I was surprised upon seeing so that women actually COULD become Emperors and Commanders (FEMALE EMPOWERMENT). But there only being one female Augur did make me a bit disappointed. I did find the Augurs to be super cool though.

Same here! Oh and talking about female empowerment, what about Cook? She is so cool and badass that makes me want to be Laia! But, sometimes, I felt like there was something strange going on. Am I the only one who has the theory that she could be the Nightbringer?

What? There’s a theory?

Well, It’s a theory that I’ve made up. I feel like she could be it because there are a lot of plot holes in her story and well, she knew Laia’s parents and I can totally see her as a villain! or the one that turned Laia’s parents in.  

Now that I think about it, your theory seems logical! I actually do agree with it, but we HAVE to read the second book as soon as possible to find out!

Totally!! I can’t wait to pick up the second book!

So what do you guys think after reading out booktalk? Team Keenan or Team Elias? Could Cook be the Nightbringer? Comment bellow!

Also, go check out our separate blogs the links will be down below!
Want to join our reading club? Easy! Go join our Goodreads group where we will be posting everything!

We had so much fun discussing the book so stay tuned because the next book that we will be reading will be announced in brief! Thank you for joining us and HAPPY READING!



Hanna’s book blog:
Hanna’s Goodreads Page:

Anna’s book blog:
Anna’s Goodreads Page:
Anna’s Twitter:

HannaRybe Book Club Goodreads Page:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s