In the Empire, the Scholars live in fear while the Martials hold all the power. Laia is a Scholar who tries to stay invisible, but when her brother is arrested for treason and the rest of her family killed, she finds herself on the run. She begs the Resistance to save her brother and they agree to help only if Laia will spy within the Empire’s military academy. In the academy, Laia meets Elias. He is the academy’s most promising soldier, but all he wants is to be free. As events unfold, Laia and Elias will find that their individual freedom is tied to each other.
A dark, exciting fantasy, An Ember in the Ashes provides strong character and world building. Although they are very different, Elias and Laia are both sympathetic characters that will keep readers intrigued. The presence of magic is minimal, but the story promises more to come. It provides a good crossover for fans of the Hunger Games and Harry Potter.
Recommended ages–13 and up