My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the cover blurb:
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
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.
Elias is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
WOW. That's about the only way I can describe this book. The world is very loosely based on ancient Rome, and it is so thoroughly well-created that I felt I could hop on a plane and go there. (Not that I would -- because the place is downright scary!) The chapters alternate between the two main characters, Laia and Elias. I loved both of them equally, and I especially loved how strong the secondary characters were. It's violent and tense, but there are moments of overwhelming emotion throughout. And a really, really great romance to boot.
This book is gonna be huge, y'all. It's out on April 28th.
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