An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this first in the series and have already pre-ordered the 2nd book due out in August- hurry up August!!! Laia and Elias were my favorite characters but author Tahir had so many well-drawn characters to love (Izzi, Cook, Helene, Cook) and hate (Marcus and the Commandant) plus the otherworldly beings, the Augurs are truly creepy- reading minds, talking in circles, never giving solid answers. Elias is a prize fighter at Blackcliff who hates his life of killing and yearns for a life of freedom. Laia is a Slowly girl whose family has been killed with her only brother imprisoned and she strikes a bargain to pose as a slave for the dreaded Commandant while finding out any kind of information for The Resistance. Laia and Elias fight to survive (one through Trials and another through spying). For a heart stopping read with terror, alliances, deceit, and brutality this book fills the bill AND MORE!!!
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