“You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”
“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.”
This book is magic! How do I know this book is really werkin’ it?
It has two things I absolutely hate in YA (sappy sappy romance and a clueless/weak protagonist), but I still LURVE IT! I literally could not put this thing down. I fell asleep three nights in a row clutching this thing to me like it was the only thing keeping me alive.
So, let’s revisit those two disparaging remarks I just made.
- Sappy sappy romance (bit of a triangle, boo).
We’ve got Keenan (rebel)
and we’ve got Elias (soldier)
and they’re both thinking:
about Laia: .
And of course she’s thinking, “but you’re like really pretty” about both of them too. Oh teenage romance, how ridiculous you are.
2. Laia is possibly the weakest, most clueless female protagonist I’ve come across since Bella Swan. She struggles with her fears FoEvEr until she starts developing a backbone in the last quarter of the book. Much needed, and thank the gods.
So, why do I love this book so much? Well, the pacing is fast. Like, The Flash fast. The writing is stellar — it flows effortlessly and is just the right amount of descriptive. The setting is brutal, but only a few of the characters seem to have gone totally dark side. Most of them are so, so human and so, so relatable. And the plot, while generic for this type of YA fantasy, is skillfully developed. Plus, who doesn’t love reading about jinns and wights and ghuls and such. And those Augurs! Yeesh…those dudes and dudettes be creepy!
I’ve heard before that it matters just as much when you read a book as how that book is written. I think that is absolutely true. I needed to read this book at this moment. I’m not saying it’s a ground-breaking piece of fiction, but Laia’s journey from scared and weak to strong and purposeful is one I needed to read at this moment. Her ability to hang on to hope in the face of true evil (Keris, the Commandant) is stunning. And frankly, I’m just kind of proud of her for stepping into her own toward the end of the book. Well done, Laia!
Mk, stop reading reviews about this book and go read it yourselves!