So...this was unexpectedly amazing. I must confess that I wasn't too excited to read it. I heard a lot of the hype and read the blurb and just thought..."meh?". But, boy, was I wrong.
An Ember in the Ashes (by Sabaa Tahir) is told from two points of view -- Laia, the scholar woman who voluntarily becomes a slave in a last-ditch effort to save her brother, Darin...and Elias, the reluctant soldier who, while top of his class, is desperate to escape the clutches of the evil empire he is sworn to serve.
This book had all the elements I typically don't like or am a bit burned out on -- a potential love triangle, a competition to the death, multiple points of view, etc...
I loved this! I found the story compulsively readable and the characters engaging. Some of the story was just brutal to read, but I'm glad the story wasn't watered down.
Tahir incorporates those elements I considered tired, old but somehow they seemed to fit within the constructs of this plot. I am desperate to know what happens next and am almost glad that I'm so far behind the game on this one.