Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: February 9, 2016 by: Razorbill
Rating: 5/5 stars
Laia is a slave. After her family is torn apart from her by the brutal Martial Empire, Laia will do anything to free her brother from being executed, even if that means being sold as a slave to spy on the empire's military academy for a rebellion that promises to free her brother. Elias is a warrior. Bonded to the empire through his blood, Elias wants nothing more than to escape from the empire and it's hellish ways. But when he is selected to compete for ruler of the Empire, Elias knows that there's no turning back now. Once Laia and Elias meet, they will have to depend on each other more than anything, to free the people, and themselves.
*warning, excess use of caps locks in this review*
OMG THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ! Glad to have gotten that out of the way. Seriously though, Ember was one big thrill ride, full of TWISTS AND TURNS AND LOVE AND BRUTALITY AND IT WAS SO AWESOME! Well, the brutality wasn't awesome, but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Ember will pull you by the heartstrings, wrap you in, and never let go.
As you guys know, I'm not the biggest fan of fantasy. However this book was MORE THAN THAT! It had some romance, some historical fiction, fantasy, action, you name it, it was there! There is truly something for everyone in this book and trust me, this book will FIND A WAY to get you hooked!
The characters in this book were complex, and cool, and caring and stunning (I'm talking to you Elias) and they were so well written! First you have Laia, who was so awfully kind and determined to get her brother back, that she would have done anything. Poor Laia has been and will be going through so much, and yet she GOT BACK UP AND DUSTED HERSELF OFF EVERYTIME! This book has some serious girl power.
Then we have Elias, oh great, BEAUTIFUL Elias! Not only did Sabaa paint a perfect picture of him in my head, but he was so kind to all of the slaves and so brave too! I loved how even though he was the dominant male, he was such a gentleman and wasn't overbearing at all! This book had the perfect aspects of girl power but also man power!
A strong theme in this book is brutality against slaves, and the people under the Empire. It is loosly based on Ancient Rome, a civilization that both interested me and disgusted me on their treatment. Sabaa did an incredible job at tying in important topics such as rape, family and army brutality, and while everything is very descriptive and will sometimes leave you angry, it's so important to learn about.
The writing in this book flowed like silk, it was descriptive but not too much, beautiful and keeps you hooked. I didn't find this a heavy fantasy at all and yet the writing was STILL SO PERFECT! I honestly don't know how Sabaa did it, I'm starting to question if she's even human.
You need to read this book. Literally drop everything you're doing and read this book. It'll change your life in ways I never thought possible. I don't even know how I managed to string together a somewhat coherent review because honestly my mind is a mess when it comes to this book. I CAN'T WAIT TILL AUGUST!
Have you read this stunning work of art? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess