An Ember in the Ashes #1

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This week, I read from page 14-32. But this post will be on the first 32 pages of the book. I didn’t meet my goal of a hundred pages, I only had 10ish minutes to read. But I read enough to write about something.


  • Laia- Main protagonist; her parents and older sister are dead and she lives with her grandparents and brother
  • Darin- Laia’s older brother
  • Pop and Nan- Laia’s grandparents
  • Elias- Protagonist; he is about to graduate Blackcliff as he does not agree with its brutal ways. 
  • Helene- Elias’s best friend; she is the only female Mask at Blackcliff other than the Commandant. She is a strict follower of rules; even if she doesn’t agree with them. 
  • Demetrius and Faris- Minor characters; they are the same age as Elias and Helene and are about to graduate.
  • Marcus and Zak- twins; they are also about to graduate and Elias describes them as evil.
  • The Commandant- Elias’s mother; she is the head of Blackcliff and the only female Mask other than Helene
  • Falconius Barrius- about ten years old; he is the deserter


  • Laia’s house
  • The Catacombs of Serra
  • The tunnels beneath Blackcliff
  • Blackcliff

What’s happened so far? CONTAINS SPOILERS 

  • LAIA is waiting for her brother to come home; she saw his sketchbook and is worried her is working for the Empire. The Empire is run by the militaristic Martials who have been oppressing the Scholars for 500 years, following their conquering of the Scholar Empire.
    • Darin begins to explain that Laia is mistaken, but before he can, there is a raid. Her grandparents tell her and Darin to leave through the back window, but they are found by a Mask (a highly trained soldier from Blackcliff). 
    • The soldiers kill Nan and Pop and arrest Darin. Laia manages to escape and runs, but is haunted by the fact that she left Darin behind. She wanders the Scholar Quarters, before remembering that the Resistance has to help her because they are the reason her family is torn.
  • ELIAS is about to graduate Blackcliff but planning on deserting, and is down in the crypts to store is supplies.
    • A younger trainee has deserted and has created a distraction, giving Elias a chance to prepare. But Helene, his friend of 14 years, finds him and begins to question him. However, the deserter is found before Helene can figure out what he is planning.
    • He and Helene go to Blackcliff’s bell tower and witness the deserter’s cruel punishment. The deserter ends up dying and, although Elia does not agree with Blackcliff’s brutal ways, he forces himself to act like he agrees so they do not grow suspicious of him.


  1. So, this time I noticed that I’ve been misreading Commandant. I’ve been reading it as “commandment” and its really bothering me.
  2. It’s kind of weird knowing what happens to the characters in later books, but I realize that I’ve forgotten a lot of what happened.

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An Ember in the Ashes

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So, I requested a book from the library to read this week, but I completely forgot about it and never picked it up. I decided to just reread a book I read a couple of years ago.

Sabaa Tahir wrote An Ember in the Ashes in 2015. I read it in 2016 for the first time, sometime around the end of November. I read in about a couple of hours because I was completely hooked. I read it again in like late September-ish in 2017, because the third book was going to be published (This was later pushed to June 2018).

Although I don’t like it quite as much as I did the first time I read it, it’s an amazing debut. I recommend reading it, and it’s part of a quartet. The final book will be published in 2019.

An Ember in the Ashes is about Laia and her journey to save her brother. To do so, she has to conquer her fears and spy for a group of rebels known as The Resistance.

I don’t want to say much more, but the basic plot motive becomes clear a couple of pages in.

I started reading 11/01/18, and as of 11/08/18, I am on page 14. I’m trying to make more time to read, so I’m aiming to be on page 100. Because I haven’t read much, I can’t say much, so next week I will talk about the total pages I’ve read (hopefully, it’ll be 100).

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