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An Ember in the Ashes
Contributor(s): Tahir, Sabaa

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ISBN: 1595148035     ISBN-13: 9781595148032
Publisher: Razorbill
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Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: April 2015
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Annotation: "Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution"--

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Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fantasy.
Love; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2014029687
Lexile Measure: 680
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Series: Ember in the Ashes
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.75" H x 7.00" W x 1.75" (1.50 lbs) 446 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 173347
Reading Level: 5.0   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 19.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q66002
Reading Level: 5.2   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 28.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Fall)
This epic debut, set in a fantasy empire with nods to ancient Rome and Egypt, relates the intersecting struggles of Elias, an elite enforcer, and Laia, a Resistance spy. Nuanced, multileveled world-building provides a dynamic backdrop for an often brutal exploration of moral ambiguity and the power of empathy. A compelling emergent romance is only one reason among many to anticipate the sequel.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2015 February #1)

As one of the conquered Scholar people, Laia has grown wary of the ruthless Masks that enforce the Martial empire's laws. But the lesson doesn't hit home until Masks imprison her brother for aiding the Scholar Resistance. Desperate to save him, Laia agrees to spy for the rebels as a slave in Blackcliff, the hellish school where Masks are trained. Her mission becomes all the more dangerous when the empire's prophetic Augurs announce that, for the first time in centuries, four newly graduated Masks will compete for the emperor's throne. One of these "Aspirants," Elias, had been on the verge of desertion before he was chosen, and he only stays to compete because of the Augurs' warning that he will never know freedom unless he undergoes the Trials. Tahir's deft, polished debut alternates between two very different perspectives on the same brutal world, deepening both in the contrast. In a tale brimming with political intrigue and haunted by supernatural forces, the true tension comes from watching Elias and Laia struggle to decide where their loyalties lie. Ages 14–up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2015 January)

Gr 9 Up—This strong debut novel is set in the Martial Empire, a fantasy world based on ancient Rome. Elias Veturius is the scion of a proud Martial military family and an outstanding soldier, but he dreams of escaping Blackcliff Academy, the elite military academy where he has nearly completed his training as a Mask, and his inevitable future as a ruthless killer. Elias and three fellow students will be facing the Trials, dangerous and rigorous challenges that will determine the next emperor. Laia is a Scholar, one of many oppressed groups living under the rule of the Martials. When nearly all of Laia's family is killed and her brother is arrested for having a sketchbook depicting Martial weapons, she goes to the Resistance in desperation. The rebel leaders plant her as a spy at Blackcliff Academy, where she must pose as the personal slave of the Commandant, promising that in return they will rescue her brother. Elias and Laia become romantically involved as they face treachery and political machinations. Tahir's world-building is wonderfully detailed and the setting is an unusual one for fantasy novels. All of her characters, even minor ones, are fully realized. In particular, the Commandant is a genuinely evil and frightening villain. The author doesn't pull any punches; her descriptions of torture, punishment, and battle are graphic and brutal, and her realistic depictions of the treatment of slaves include rape and physical abuse. For fans of Game of Thrones and of Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock (Candlewick, 2010).—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

[Page 116]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
 
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