An Ember in the Ashes

By Sabaa Tahir,

Book cover of An Ember in the Ashes

Book description

'Keeps one reading long after the lights should have been out' - Robin Hobb

Read the explosive New York Times bestselling debut that's captivated readers worldwide. Set to be a major motion picture, An Ember in the Ashes is the book everyone is talking about.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

5 authors picked An Ember in the Ashes as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the first book in one of my favourite series of all time. It catches you by the throat right from the start and keeps its relentless pace to the end.

Laia of Serra infiltrates a military school in exchange for help to save her brother from prison. Elias is one of the star students at the military school, and he is thrown into the vicious trials to decide the next emperor, even though all he wants is to be free of the Empire.

This book is packed with danger, secrets, a love triangle, and magic. You never know…

From Tessa's list on YA featuring magical competitions.

An Ember in the Ashes features gorgeous imagery and a compelling blend of mythology, magic, and a setting reminiscent of classical world history. This story grabs hold of your heart and doesn’t let go.

Be warned: Tahir doesn’t pull punches when it comes to gut-wrenching emotion, but that only makes her story craft more addictive. 

I don’t always love fantasy books, even though the Hero’s Journey is a staple of this genre.

This series, however, hooked me from the start. It starts out in a familiar, Roman Empire-type world and slowly adds layers of metaphysical complexity. The hero, Laia, is tough-as-nails and has earned a place as one of my all-time-favorites.

If you want to read a book that feels like a time machine—where you begin and then suddenly days have gone by and you are surrounded by dirty laundry and dishes and wishing there were just one more book in the series, these books…

In a fantasy world inspired by ancient Rome with a Hunger Games-type tournament, a spy hiding as a slave clashes with an elite soldier who is more than meets the eye. The unexpected chemistry between Laia and Elias shines against the backdrop of the brutal world of the Empire. This story explores so many different sides of humanity, and it’s the human connections that kept me hooked and eagerly anticipating the rest of the series.

Inspired by the culture of ancient Rome, An Ember in the Ashes is a story of two very different people forced into an unlikely alliance. With constant horrors (Sabaa Tahir pulls no punches) pressing grimly on each characters’ psyche, the similarities between the protagonists emerge with artful telling. The immersive world building and compelling characters lend the story its strength, and as the plot progresses, those protagonists, along with the reader, must dig deeper and deeper into Tahir’s stunning tangle of divided loyalties, slowly-emerging love, and impossible, gruesome decisions. The series unfolds from this book on, and Tahir introduces…

Want books like An Ember in the Ashes?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like An Ember in the Ashes.

Browse books like An Ember in the Ashes

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in slaves, sibling, and undercover operations?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about slaves, sibling, and undercover operations.

Slaves Explore 89 books about slaves
Sibling Explore 193 books about sibling
Undercover Operations Explore 20 books about undercover operations