Laia and her family live under the Martial Empire when her brother is suddenly arrested for treason. Laia knows what happens to traitors in this devastatingly brutal world they are living in and decides to go undercover as a slave to rescue him. While on the mission, she meets Elias, the top soldier in the Empire and is terrified at first. She soon realizes that he is not who he seems and just might be able to help her. An Ember in the Ashes is a deep and enveloping read. Switching narrators back and forth between Laia and Elias allows the reader to know and understand a lot more about the Empire and gives it a certain depth that would not exist otherwise. This is a very promising first book in a series from Sabaa Tahir and I am definitely excited to find out what happens with Laia and Elias next!
When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for the assistance of rebel Scholars in saving him from execution.