In book review ember in the ashes sabaa tahir wrap up

SERIES WRAP UP: The Ember Quartet

Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young Adult

"There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that's a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. 
Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged but it's there. Don't let them take it from you"

Hey guys! I'm introducing a new format to my blog in which I review a series all at once. I've been binge-reading more and more books and instead of posting numerous reviews right after another, I figured I'd introduce wrap-ups to my blog in which I collect them all in one post and do a collective review. First up, this absolutely gorgeous series!

Book 1:
An Ember in the Ashes
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

Book 2:
A Torch Against the Night
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

Book 3:
A Reaper at the Gates
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭/5

What is this series about?
An Ember in the Ashes is set in a dark world that is reminiscent of the Roman empire and follows the slave girl Laia. When Laia's brother is arrested and her remaining family is killed, Laia is left with nothing. In the hope of getting her brother back, she is forced to turn to a group of rebels, who, in turn, ask her to spy for them on the military academy. During her time there, she meets Elias, a soldier who dreams of deserting. Together the two of them find an unlikely ally in each other, and must navigate a way to defeat a common enemy.

You are my temple", I murmur as I knee beside her.
 "You are my priest. You are my prayer. You are my release."

What did I think about this series?
I've wanted to read these books for the longest time because I heard nothing but great things about the author, and the premise of this book sounded A-MA-ZING. The recent (or fairly recent, at least) release of A Reaper at the Gates did it for me, and I finally decided to binge-read this series. Let me tell you.... I LOVED IT SO SO MUCH! I'm honestly so puzzled why this series isn't more hyped because Sabaa Tahir has produced a straight-up masterpiece.

Plot-wise these books are very strong. The high fantasy setting based on a world that is inspired by ancient Rome really sets the gritty tone that is central for this series. The world-building in this is absolutely fantastic. Despite the brutal tones of the story, I found it such an easy series to get through. The plot was well-paced, with intense action right from the start of the first instalment. Right up until the last part of Reaper at the Gates, I JUST COULD NOT STOP READING THESE.  All of these books kept me on the edge of my seat and the tip of my toes, you name it. 

Character-wise, I fell head-over-heels in love with both Laia and Elias, I'm still iffy on Helene, but I do think she's such a fascinating character. The books are told with a dual POV at first, which then turns into a triple POV when Helene's voice comes in. I fell in love with Laia in the first chapter, it was quite literally love at first sight. Laia is brave, relatable, and Tahir showcases such a human side of her character. After all, she's just a human girl stuck in a brutal situation and trying her hardest to survive in the midst of all the chaos going on. Then there's Elias, who is quite literally one of my new favorite male characters of all time. Elias is a soldier, forced to do what is expected of him. What I love about him is the duality of his character. Elias' isn't a perfect and is only trying to follow his heart. He's also such a softie when it comes to Laia, and their dynamic is my favorite thing EVER! (so eloquent, I know, but it's true!)

This series was genuinely such a good and bing-worthy read. The fast-paced and quite down-to-earth writing of these books is what made them so enjoyable for me. The simplicity made them great. The stakes kept on getting higher the further the story went, and the twists and turns kept on coming. 

Something that bothered me a little was the consistent violence towards women. I have issues with things like this and I don't particularly love seeing it represented in YA fiction, even though I know this book is supposed to be brutal and is set in a dark universe. I also didn't love the love-triangle plot in these books, and I found it quite pointless. I dislike the best friend is secretly in love with the main character trope, and I think I could've loved Helene a lot more if her arc hadn't started like that. I still think she's an interesting character, though, and I've started to love her a lot more compared to my feelings in the first book.

When it comes to the grander spectrum, these things didn't matter to me so much. I'm so elated to have picked up these books because I honestly think this is one of my new favorite series. The originality of the story, the dark and interesting setting, and these gorgeous characters all made this a solid five-star read. I NEED PART FOUR RIGHT NOW! 

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