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Die Herrschaft der Masken

(An Ember in the Ashes #1)

by
4.30  ·  Rating details ·  151,130 ratings  ·  20,254 reviews
Wie überlebt man in einer Welt, in der Männer mit silbernen Masken jeden Tag den Tod bringen können? Wie kann man sich selbst treu bleiben, wenn die Herrschenden des Imperiums alles dafür tun, voller Grausamkeit ein ganzes Volk zu unterjochen? Elias und Laia stehen auf ganz unterschiedlichen Seiten. Und doch sind ihre Wege schicksalhaft miteinander verknüpft.

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Hardcover, 507 pages
Published May 15th 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG (first published April 28th 2015)
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Popular Answered Questions
Sadia OMG I want them together too! I like Keenan with Laia more so I was hoping Elias and Helene would go together. this whole love square gives me a…moreOMG I want them together too! I like Keenan with Laia more so I was hoping Elias and Helene would go together. this whole love square gives me a headache. why can't elias and laia help each other as friends with common goals? nope, they have to fall in love(less)
Raven I thought the same thing too and tweeted the author right after! Penguin only bought one book but she said that she already has the character's…moreI thought the same thing too and tweeted the author right after! Penguin only bought one book but she said that she already has the character's stories planned to the end and it depends on whether the readers and Penguin want another book. I'm crossing my fingers that that's the case because like you said, this is an awesome book and it would suck if Laia and Elias's story just ended like that. :/(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  151,130 ratings  ·  20,254 reviews


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Emily May
“This life is not always what we think it will be,” Cain says. “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.”

I think a lot of people will understand me when I say that the best kind of books are those that provoke strong emotions in you. My favourites are made up of books that filled me with happy excitement or, alternatively, books that ripped my heart out and made me cry. An Ember in the Ashes, however, made me an
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Sasha Alsberg
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An Ember in the Ashes is truly a unique and captivating book that I recommends everybody reads! Cannot wait for the second book in this series =D
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
HOLY SMOKES THAT WAS GOOD. I'm sososo happy that there's going to be a sequel. I'D BE SO MAD IF THEY JUST LEFT ME HANING LIKE THAT. YOU CAN'T DO THAT. YAY FOR SEQUELS. *throws confetti*
Regan
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
4.5

This book is totally going to have a sequel.
Kiki
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine Riccio
Really enjoyed this one!!! Flew through it - here's my booktalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUzvC... =D
Lola
3 1/2 stars.

The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.

An Ember in the Ashes is THE book I was looking most forward to in 2015. I can’t say that I’m completely pleased with the way it turned out, because, being my most anticipated title, I naively envisioned this to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N or, at least, perfectly enjoyable. But, don’t worry, Sabaa Tahir clearly did a fine job at putting together an intensive s/>
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karen
sometimes you read a book and you know instantly - this is going to be huge. whether it's the quality of the writing, the freshness of the premise, the way it piggybacks onto something already immensely popular, or just a case of right time/right zeitgeist - you just know.

and this book is going to be a star.

and it should be. this book is a perfect example of crossover YA. there is nothing juvenile about it, and it will have broad appeal to adults as well as teens. it has fantastic world-building, c
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Katerina
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
“The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

One word.
E*X*P*L*O*S*I*V*E*

description

Dear Book Gods,
I beg you to forgive me for not reading this masterpiece sooner. I will graciously accept any punishment you deem appropriate. I would also like to thank you for bringing this book into my life. You guys rock!

Sincerely, Sabaa Tahir's new stalker fan

“The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

One word.
E*X*P*L*O*S*I*V*E*

description

Dear Book Gods,
I beg you to forgive me for not reading this masterpiece sooner. I will graciously accept any punishment you deem appropriate. I would also like to thank you for bringing this book into my life. You guys rock!

Sincerely, Sabaa Tahir's new stalker fan



The story
“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.”

The Scholars are enslaved by the Martial Empire and they live under horrible conditions. Laia and her family try not to stick out, until her brother is arrested for treason and the only way to make the Resistance set him free is to become their spy within Blackcliff, the infamous military academy that breeds human weapons, the Masks, whose only purpose is death and destruction.
“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.”

Even though he is the most promising Blackcliff student, Elias plans his escape from this living hell. Until he is informed that the only way to become truly free is to participate in the Trials that will determine the next Emperor, Trials so harsh and brutal that their cost might be too great. His soul.

Thoughts
Have you ever wished that you could forget a book only to experience reading it for the first time once more? An Ember in the Ashes is one of those books. It is special. While I turned the pages, while I inhaled Sabaa Tahir's words, everything around me ceased to exist. Everything was frozen and the only thing I could hear was my heart. Thump, thump, thump. Sometimes it beat incredibly fast. Sometimes it stopped. Some others it was flooded with a warmth that spread through my veins into every inch of my body. It was beautiful and ugly, sweet and brutal, heartbreaking and heartmending.
“I look up at the stars hanging low in a sky that makes me think I'm seeing the infinite. But beneath their cold gaze, I feel small. All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

There was no reprieve from action and suspense in An Ember in the Ashes. War, battles, trials, espionage, rebels, slaves, ruthless villains, ancient creatures of immense powers, ghouls and wraiths, unbreakable swords, all of them woven together resulted in a story that kept you on the edge, that made you hold your breath and pray that your heroes will be spared the agony and the pain that was about to come. But it wouldn't happen. They suffered, and you suffered with them. They hurt and you hurt. They were broken and you tried in vain to glue them back together. There was raw brutality that made you cringe, and strength and dedication and courage and harsh decisions that gave you goosebumps. There was hope in despair, light in darkness ,life in death. And I loved every single moment.



The characters
“Look at us”, he says. “Scholar slave and Mask, each trying to persuade the other that they're not evil.”

Two enemies that were never meant to cross paths, let alone find a kindred spirit in each other, Elias and Laia were two rare characters. They were driven by their passion for freedom, they felt guilty for their actions, they blamed themselves for everything that was wrong in the world. Elias was a controlled chaos, lethal but noble, while Laia was weak and scared but she recognized her fear and she tried to tame it for the sake of the people she loved. You may have heard that there is a love square in this book, but things are a little more complicated. You see, Elias and Laia don't have many scenes together. Both of them have another love interest that makes them confused, but I strongly believe they are mere distactions, a way to show that Elias and Laia come from different worlds and there are people who are more suitable for them, but the attraction and connection between them is off the charts and simply, they belong together. Which is unfortunate for me because I have a huge I want to have your babies crush on Elias.



If you were patient enough to read this review, then you understand you have to drop everything you're doing and grab An Ember in the Ashes as fast as you can. Pretty pretty please?

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Steph Sinclair

My original review for this book consisted of the following statement:

Ugh. So boring.

And for some reason those three words have kinda pissed peeps off and landed me in some hot water elsewhere. But no matter. I feel like enough time has passed for me to give my true feelings.

So here they are:

This book is mediocre. There's nothing special about it. Nothing groundbreaking is contained in its pages. In other words, it's average. And that's what a 2 star rating for me is. I'm one of t/>Ugh.
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The Burning Rose (Jess)
5/5 stars.
This is the third time I'm reading this book. And the third time I finish this book with my mouth open. The third time I was rocking through strong emotions - with the characters, about the characters. This is the third time that I am proud of the author and delighted that this book exists. Because I think every person should understand how to write a book in the most incredible way.

In this book you can experience all kinds of emotions. Fury, about the world where the
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Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

This book was amazing. Sabaa Tahir, I love you.

An Ember in the Ashes has been hovering on my to-read list ever since it's release about a year ago.  It got a lot of praise, a lot of hype, and it's all totally warranted.  It even earned a spot on my 'favourites' list.

Laia's grandparents are murdered and her brother taken prisoner; her only course of action is to join the resistance against the empire to save her brother.  Elias is a soldier for the empire, but wants nyou.
An
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Warda
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a whirlwind! This book was just so damn exciting to read! I felt high constantly, because Sabaa Tahir was not letting her readers breath for even a moment. Well, she’ll give you a minute or two, then it’s back to chaos again, AND IT WAS AWESOME!

I can’t believe this was actually intended to be a standalone at first. As if they were planning to leave us with that ending and so many plot lines left open.

I did fear at first that the plot was taking centre stage and there wasn’t goi
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jessica
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
okay. in 2019, some things are going to change. i am going to take the whole ‘new year, new me’ to heart, beginning with not waiting YEARS to read a book that everyone has told me to read. because i really havent been living my best life without this.

this was the fantasy story ive been needing recently. i was very much impressed with the world building - this introduced a lot of different aspects, and whilst not everything immediately affected the plot of this particular book, i felt like there was so‘new
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Sara Raasch
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will destroy you.

(PS: Elias is mine shhhh no one understands him like I do)
Kai
Apr 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, overrated
description

Nope.

I know Sabaa Tahir hardly received any criticism and absolutely everybody is amazed.
Not me.
I'm the opposite of amazed.

For starters, the concept is ancient. Boy and Girl are actually enemies but fall for each other. There is a spark. There is a revolution. There is a trial where the competitors have to fight until only one survives.
Much creative.
Still, some authors are able to work out a thrilling story. Sabaa Tahir was not.
Next thing, the characters are shallow. There is no character depth in Laia, nor Elias, nor in anyone else. They were one-dimensional an
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Wendy Darling
Well, damn. There had better be a sequel for this book! Penguin, you can't just leave us hanging there!

The first few chapters are absolutely riveting (you can read an excerpt here, btw: http://www.mtv.com/news/2051414/exclu...), and the cruel, merciless world these characters inhabit is well drawn. The feel of this book reminded me of the Legend trilogy, actually, though I think Ember is more complex in plot, characters, and setting. It's fantasy that feels a bit dystopian, which is pretty interesting.

I'm mulling over a couple o
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Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》
Buddy reread with my baby, Hayley!
WOW is all i have to say right now.
I'll edit my review later.
------------------------------------------

“Once, i'd have wanted someone to tell me what to do,
to fix everything. Once, I'd have wanted to be saved."




WOW! I really don't know what to say without spoiling everything. The beginning was a little slow but what came after was totally worth it!... Who said this is a stand-alone novel?? HELLO? Did you miss that heart wrenching ending? There is no way in hell.

Buddy reread with my baby, Hayley!
WOW is all i have to say right now.
I'll edit my review later.
------------------------------------------

“Once, i'd have wanted someone to tell me what to do,
to fix everything. Once, I'd have wanted to be saved."




WOW! I really don't know what to say without spoiling everything. The beginning was a little slow but what came after was totally worth it!... Who said this is a stand-alone novel?? HELLO? Did you miss that heart wrenching ending? There is no way in hell.



Elias, Laia, Keenan, and Helena are are main characters. Even just these names give me goosebumps, they are just so unique! I won't be talking about the plot because i don't want anyone getting spoiled.

“What you want doesn’t matter. Tomorrow you must make a choice. Between deserting and doing YOUR duty. If you desert, you will escape. You will leave the Empire. You will live. But you will find no solace in doing so. Your enemies will hunt you. Shadows will bloom in your heart, and you will become everything you hate—evil, merciless, cruel. You will be chained to the darkness within yourself as surely as if chained to the walls of a prison cell.”

Elias


Elias is a mask (a solder of the empire). First half of the book i couldn't stand him! He was lusting after his best friend Helena, he was running around whining and complaining. But he really grew on me!! Loved how he helped Laia when nobody was there for her.

Laia


Laia is the "Slave girl". Laia's story was really hard for me to read. Her parents are dead, her grandparents were slaughtered right in front of her, and her older brother (Darin) is captured by the solders. I loved Laia, she wasn't kick ass or sharp witted. She was scared but trying to be brave for her family! She was tortured, beaten, and lied to. But she didn't give up and at the end she kicked some serious ass! Couldn't be more happy!

Helena


Helena is Elais' best friend, the only girl mask. If Laia is too week for your taste then Helena is your girl! she is badass, strong, cold hearted, very loyal to the empire. I hated her through out the entire book. I wanted her outta the picture! I hated how she treated Laia just because she is a slave. Even though i didn't see it coming there was a reason behind everything she did. Her ending broke my heart into tiny little pieces!

Keenan


Keenan is with resistance, second in command! He is hands down my favorite of them all! I feel like we didn't get to see enough of him, but i liked whatever glimpse we got. I hope he is around more the in the second book. Laia and him just work for me. I just love him so much!!

Final thoughts;
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Ashley Nuckles
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread May 2018: 5 stars easily. SO much better the second time around omfg


4.5 stars!!

OHHHMYYYYGOOOOODDDD

Even though it took me about 100 pages to actually start understanding and enjoying the book, I STILL LOVED IT!

As I was reading I kept imagining Laia as the girl on that famous Nat Geo magazine with the bright eyes and IT MADE THE EXPERIENCE SO MUCH BETTER.

I loved how both Laia and Elias developed in this book! (Though I did enjoy Elias' POV more at most parts, maybe jus
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Robin Hobb
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Ember in the Ashes is a deceptively simple read. The writing is as smooth as silk and keeps one reading long after the lights should have been out. Short chapters and the youthful viewpoints might put this book firmly in the Young Adult category.

But the questions considered in this book are the very questions that must be considered as one moves into adulthood. How much should an individual be willing to suffer ‘for the greater good?’ Is it foolish to struggle if one can avoid extreme pain b
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Chelsea Humphrey
Jul 30, 2017 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the hype train altered my expectations for this one or maybe I'm entering a dreaded slump, but I think I'm going to put this one down for now and try to come back to it when I'm not feeling so distracted.
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
HOLY SHIT
Mohammed Arabey
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never expected a YA that mature..
An 'Amber' in the Ashes..

A fine crafted Novel..every element perfectly measured.
Very well paced, exciting world..With deep, well developing characters..

In a world with the magical atmosphere of Arabian Nights tales...even with hints of Game omature..
An
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Candace
If you're looking for a fantastic story full of action and adventure, 'An Ember in the Ashes' is a great place to start. There was never a dull moment in this book. Some sort of danger was always brewing and I never knew what was going to happen next.

The story centers on Laia, a young lady who lives under the terrifying rule of the Martial Empire. Subjected to the tyrannical rule of the Emperor, Laia's people live in constant fear. Those who don't submit are hunted, tortured and kill
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Sana
Buddy read with Jahanzaib who i ditched lmao

Also, spoilers. Some won't be marked.

So, this review is not 100000 years late, I don't know why y'all starin' at me like that, okay.

The first 40% of this book was unbearable and I was going to dnf if it weren't for this buddy read. However, I am so glad I pushed through the beginning of this book because boy did this get so much better.

There's this shitload of info dump and slow, boring plot towards the beginning that made me want to shoot myself in the head because f/>Also,
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♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ
5 Bleeding, burning skies! ★'s

“The field of battle is my temple. The sword point is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

“Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be. Too much fear and you're paralyzed. Too little fear and you're arrogant.”

Buddy read withclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
“Fear
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Zainab
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been throwing four and five stars here and there recently but it's not my fault that every other book I read turns out to be a gem.
All these (good) books came out during the time when even the word 'fantasy' would make me cringe but I've grown to like the genre so I'm lucky in this way that I have so many books to read now.
Anyway, this book is thrilling. The story is very different from other books in it's genre. The characters are so loveable (and some equally hateable. I'm looking
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Natalie Monroe


Nice Natalie: Let's start this civil. After you.

Cynical Natalie: Don't mind if I do. An Ember In The Ashes is cliche tripe—

Nice Natalie: But we enjoyed it!

Cynical Natalie: Pipe down and wait your turn. As I was saying, it's your generic dystopian fantasy. Evil government+class divide+forbidden romance. Its only saving grace is that it's mildly better than Red Queen, which is like saying being dipped in acid is less painful than being burnt at stake.

Nice Natalie: Are you done?

Cynical Natalie: No. What the fuck is with the rape shit?

Nice Natalie: I liked it! It ad
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Beth
"There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that's a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged, but it's there."

Spoiler Free Review.

I'm in utter bliss after reading this!

ALL OF THE STARS, every single one! I am unashamedly in LOVE with this and everything about it. I can't believe it has taken me this long to actually read it! An Ember/>ALL
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Mark Lawrence
It took me forever to read this book, and the reason is that it never really engaged me.

Tahir is a good writer and the story has much to recommend it. The story is delivered through two first person points of view in present tense – which is a bold and refreshing approach. I’m just not the reader it’s aimed at.

Ember in the Ashes is the first book I’ve read (all the way through) in decades that wears its YA colours so boldly. Many things that are complex in reality are made simple. T
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**My apologies if I don't respond to emails or friend requests right away! Come find me on Twitter or Instagram @sabaatahir, or on my web site: www.sabaatahir.com

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while wor
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Other books in the series

An Ember in the Ashes (4 books)
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)
  • A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)
  • Untitled (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)
“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.” 1473 likes
“There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that's a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged but it's there. Don't let them take it from you.” 1081 likes
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