The second book of The Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir brings a more supernatural feel to the Roman Empire sprouted in the first book. The main characters are across the map and are on the run, so you get a little more of a feel for the world. There is a lot of killing, a lot of omg-no-that-is-no-nope-wait moments and not really a place to stop reading because it JUST KEEPS GOING. The pace in my opinion did not stop. And I loved absolutely ever moment of it.
I like the building of this world for some reason, even though some people did not.
Let me explain.
It is very slow. You get introduced to certain things in stories and then sometimes they come to life. There aren’t really like “dragons” or “unicorns” in this fantasy world, but there are certain humanoid creatures with certain un-human-like powers. You are left in the dark about some things, but I feel as if we will know when we need to know.
My oh my, Elias Veturius
Narrated By: Steve West
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Steve West’s narrating has a lot to do with this love I have for Elias. He has a way of bringing him to life more than if I was reading it myself. He isn’t afraid of doing individual voices for different characters and he grabs your attention from the very start.
I just needed to get that out of the way. Elias is not only attractive but he has so much honor! I mean, no matter his feelings, he always does what someone else wants or needs. He doesn’t even care about himself anymore, just the people around him. He was reborn as a killer, yet he still finds it in himself to do what is right. I just can’t help but feel like he should have been a little more… selfish. I mean, the predicament that he is in at the end of the book
Watch your back, Helene Aquilla
Narrated By: Katharine McEwan
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Katharine McEwan has a very pleasant voice to listen to. I didn’t really see a difference in the voices of the characters she spoke for, which is why she didn’t get all five stars for me, but it was very melodic.
Helene’s character grew on me a lot in this book. I’m glad that this point of view was included because “the girl who got left behind” usually doesn’t get a voice. and it absolutely broke my tiny heart. She is torn between being true to her Empire and new Emperor (even though she can’t stand him at all) and to be loyal to her friend and to her heart. She knows that Elias must have a good reason but what is a good enough reason to go against everything you were raised to be?
Stay hidden, Laia
Narrated By: Fiona Hardingham
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Fiona Hardingham was a lot better in this book than the first. She was so into all the vocal cues and changes for each character that I found myself enjoying it as much as I felt that she was enjoying it.
Laia is your typical heroine. She has a little triangular feeling going on between Keenan and Elias (surprise, love triangles rise again); but she is more worried about getting her brother out safe and sound. That is something I can stand behind, saving her brother. What I really can’t stand behind is that she is only driven by saving her brother and barely anything else. She mentions her brother more than she does her people and the holocaust they are currently living in. I just… it annoys me.
THEN THERE WAS THAT PART THAT HAD YOU LIKE WAIT THAT WASN’T JUST A TALE TO TELL KIDS TO KEEP THEM IN LINE AND THAT PERSON IS THAT THING AND NOW THIS IS HAPPENING AND THESE PEOPLE ARE IN ON IT?
If you think you know what is happening, well you probably read a spoiler (which you will not find here) because that was something that you wouldn’t have seen coming unless Sabaa told you herself.
I loved this book. It’s a new kind of fantasy and is brutal with a side dish of romance and I can’t get enough of it.
My only question is how I am expected to wait until 2018 to get my hands on the next book? That’s asking a lot of me.