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252 Thoughts I Had While Reading An Ember in the Ashes

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252 Thoughts I Had While Reading An Ember in the Ashes

252 Thoughts I Had While Reading An Ember in the Ashes
Epic Readers! Tyler from Team Epic Reads here. Long time no thoughts. But finally, FINALLY, I’m diving into AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir.
The first thing I will admit is that I absolutely should have read this book already. BUT HERE’S MY CASE: I started the audiobook way long ago, got a little bit through, and thought, “wow, this book is incredible. I want to read it for real.” And then never got the chance.
But here, on the eve of REAPER, I made the time and dove in. Of course I’m aware of how the YA community talks about these books—Helene is sort of bad, I think? Laia is #relatable? I was so excited to dive in for myself and see what AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is really about. What I was not as ready for? Sabaa Tahir to play with my emotions so freaking much!!
Whether you’ve read it a thousand times and just want to remember what happened in AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, or you need some more convincing before diving into this incredible series, scroll down and read all 252 thoughts I had while reading!

 

Thoughts While Reading An Ember in the Ashes

MILD AND VAGUE SPOILERS BELOW

1. Ok I am one sentence in and am convinced Sabaa Tahir is some kind of word magician
2. This is going to be fun
3. ROLL CALL, for everyone unaware: Laia’s brother Darin just snuck back home with some kind of dangerous sketchbook, Laia is sus
4. Empire? Bad. Martials? BAD.
5. Ok both Empire and martials are very bad!!!
6. I don’t know Laia but I would die for her
6. Lol THAT’S how the first chapter ends
7. Wow I’m in trouble
8. Ugh of course

9. Oh Elias you sweet summer child you are going to suffer aren’t you
10. The silver mask paired with copper armor and a billowing black cape? Terrifying, yet wicked cool

11. Darin gets attacked and Laia just screams wow truly #relatable
12. Oh no Nan and Pop
13. It’s going to happen isn’t it
14. Ohhhhh no it’s happening
15. LAIA NO
16. Oh no
17. Ohhh no it happened
18. Omg R U N
19. Catacombs and rebellion I can’t wait

20. “… called Fivers because so many die in their fifth year.” Oh nice how casual and fun
21. LMAO THEY HAVE TO SURVIVE IN THE WILD FOR FOUR YEARS?!
22. I wouldn’t last a MINUTE
23. Character update: Marcus and Zak suck
24. Ugh this is brutal
25. Aw yay she found them
26. I mean they’re pointing weapons at her but she found them!
27. Helene is already so complex and interesting I want to know more about her

28. Cool the Blood Shrike what a chill, lowkey name

29. Elias your MASK ISN’T ON
30. And stop checking out Helene damn this boy is a #mess

31. “The sunset drums thunder,” are you kidding me I would sell my soul to the Nightbringer to write this well

32. Can someone punch Marcus
33. ELIAS IS GONNA PUNCH MARCUS
34. How is everyone in this book not just constantly screaming the entire time
35. “Your future is punishment enough.” SEEMS PROMISING

36. This is how I imagine the Augurs spend their time in the mountain lair

37. “You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius.”
38. Omg her mom LED THEM?!
39. AND YOU WAITED THIS LONG TO SAY SOMETHING???? Girl
40. Oh her parents were betrayed lol that’s why
41. She’s gotta SPY ON THE COMMANDANT YES B#&CH
42. “So my choices are to stay and be evil or to run and be evil. Wonderful.” Oh Elias you sweet cinnamon roll of a soldier
43. I know they’re all brutal and terrifying but everyone at Blackcliff just sounds so… cool
44. I blame the armor and the capes
45. I wonder if I could pull off a cape
46. When does Helene kill Marcus
47. IT’S THE TRIAAAAAALS
48. “One will be named the Foretold. One will serve as the Blood Shrike. The others will be lost, as leaves on the wind.” Oh my god
49. Elias, Marcus, Helene, and Zak ohhhh my god
50. THE DRAMA
51. I LOVE HELENE

52. Meanwhile, “okay here’s your mission, but here’s the thing: everyone dies.”
53. Lol Laia realizing she’s staring into Keenan’s eyes and telling herself to stop I love her

54. Me trying to figure out if the shadows are talking or if Laia’s kinda insane:

55. Omggg Elias’s scims are so pretty
56. I did not realize the theme of this book was actually “pain and brutal glamour”
57. Helene eating pastries with a dagger is just *Italian chef kiss*
58. Ugh I love her!!
59. These poor sad children need hugs
60. Blackcliff sounds like Hogwarts was put on steroids and dragged through no less than eight nightmares

61. Laia’s deadass ready to lose an eye for her brother meanwhile mine will take a week to answer my text about a Sonic meme

62. Of course the Commandant murdered Laia’s parents of c o u r s e
63. Ugh
64. This is not going to end well for ANYONE
65. INCLUDING ME!!
66. Oh my god
67. Oh my god Laia
68. Being so invested at just the start of part two is mildly concerning but here I am can’t stop me now gotta keep going whew
69. Omg is this Laia are they meeting
70. IT’S LAIA THEY’RE MEETING
71. “Ten lashes… three lashes… four lashes… a black eye…” Jfc
72. Laia keeps calling herself a weak coward but like?? I want to cry when my alarm goes off too early in the morning I would probably die working for the Commandant

73. Oh my god
74. BECAUSE THE WANDERING THE DESERT ISN’T BAD ENOUGH
75. WHAT KIND OF POLTERGEIST HELLSCAPE IS THIS
76. Oh my god
77. Oh my g o d

78. HELENE
79. Oh she’s alive phew
80. I SPOKE TOO SOON I SPOKE TOO SOON
81. Well f#&k

82. Ok no offense Laia I know you miss your brother but Helene is dead

83. Me watching Laia try to spy:

84. THIS BOOK IS SO BRUTAL
85. Keris!! is so!!! sketchy!!!!!!!!
86. Wow a BRAND Laia and Mare need to bond and talk sh#t over how annoying and narcissistic their enemies are
87. Omg Cook
88. It worries me that the second trial is happening and I’m not even halfway done with this book yet what the F#&K IS GOING TO HAPPEN
89. Omg a full night of survival
90. Omg omg omg I love it
91. Oh no this is bad
92. I love it but I hate it I LOVE IT BUT I HATE IT

93. Me before reading this book, judging by fandom: “Wow Helene seems interesting”
Me now: “Wow… Helene… my love… who I would die for…”

94. ‘TIS BUT A FLESH WOUND
95. ELIAS PLEASE
96. Omg he actually knew Darin
97. Every time I think I know what’s going to happen Sabaa pulls one over on me!!
98. Damn it, Sabaa!!!!
99. HER LORD NIGHTBRINGER HOW FUN
100. Jeez no wonder Zak was so stressed about the secret alliance
101. Omg Helene a warrior queen
102. A warrior queen who won the trial!!!!!
103. “And they gave you a… shirt?”
104. Elias this is a good plan but I hope you know there is no way it will work out
105. AS MUCH AS I WANT IT TO
106. Ugh it’s all falling apart already
107. See what did I say
108. At least maybe Elias can help the girls ugh
109. “This is just like climbing trees,” she says, before having Laia scale a cliff
110. Laia this man has no intention of keeping his promise
111. NEVER TRUST A MAN
112. Do I ship Laia and Keenan… can I risk trusting a rebel…
113. I’ve been watching too much Orphan Black to think this will end well
114. BUT I CAN’T HELP BUT HOPE

115. Keenan: “You’re strong, Laia. You’ll survive.”
Me:

Keenan: “And you’ll find that entrance.”
Me:

116. I lied I don’t ship Laia with Keenan at all how can I when Elias exists
117. “Also, he’s shorter than me.” Lol
118. HA she knew
119. Women are so smart Elias you really should have figured
120. I LOVE DRAMATIC DANCE SCENES WITH WHISPERED SECRETS
121. Oh f#&k
122. Laia just GO WITH HIM
123. I KNOW YOU CAN’T TRUST HIM BUT YOU SHOULD AND YOU NEED TO

124. “If you want to live, you’ll have to trust me.” Is one of the best tropes of all time @ me I dare you
125. I’m so stressed
126. Oh Elias you tricky minx
127. Laia why do you trust the resistance but not the man who literally worked with your brother and is actively trying to help you
128. I can’t even begin to guess the details but I have a feeling Zak’s fate is BLEAK
129. Elias………
130. Elias are you gonna…….. kiss the girl………….
131. WHERE ARE ASHLEY TISDALE’S MUSICAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WHEN WE NEED THEM
132. Cool a scream this will end well
133. WOW I CAN’T WAIT FOR MARCUS TO DIE
134. LMAO ZAK JUST?? WALKS AWAY WITH A SIGH????
135. Z A K
136. Elias this was the worst relationship reparation I’ve ever seen
137. Silly soldiers and their strong morals and quick tempers

138. “Everything hurts—my skin, my bones, my fingernails, even the roots of my hair. My body doesn’t feel like my own anymore. I want to scream. All I can manage is a moan. Where am I? What happened to me?” Not to be dramatic but this is literally me in the morning if I stay out too late

139. Omg Helene
140. She came
141. Love of my life
142. Pop star of my dreams
143. OH ELIAS
144. OH ELIAS OH NO
145. OH ELIAS NOOO
146. “Watching you find the good in everyone but me.” BYE
147. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
148. I know I haven’t acknowledged it much (or at all??) but I really like Izzi
149. God Mazen is so sketchy
150. GIRL HE’S LYING
151. Have you ever seen those shirts that just say HE’S LYING
152. I feel like every character in this book needs one
153. I’m so nervous for this trial I hate it
154. A battle to the death of course what else would it be
155. God is this when Elias is going to kill his own men
156. If Elias is up against Helene I’m going to SCREAM
157. I’M DOING IT!!!!! I’M SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

158. VERY ME RIGHT NOW:

159. Honestly with the weather and the mud battleground and everything
160. This would be incredible if I wasn’t so anxious and terrified
161. Oh my god
162. I HATEEEE THIIIIIS
163. I mean like it’s PHENOMENAL but it HURTS
164. Ugh Leander
165. UGH DEMETRIUSSSSS
166. “On goes the slaughter,” of both characters and MY EMOTIONS
167. Elias just cracked her rib and I FLINCHED
168. HOW CAN YOU JUST END THE CHAPTER THERE

169. Elias: “I have to kill Helene, my best friend, my family, maybe the one person I have always loved.”
Laia: “I am in pain, but I must sweep.”

170. At least we get storytime in lieu of murder
171. Omggggg
172. The Nightbringer
173. Cook is too smart to survive and that CONCERNS ME
174. Who! is! Cook?!
175. Oh no
176. Oh no the Augur
177. Welp
178. MEANWHILE, HELENE’S CLOTHES HAVE BECOME HER
179. Damn he was really gonna kill her this is rough
180. Oh my god wait does that mean…
181. DOES THIS MEAN…
182. Z A K
183. Aw Zak what did I say

184. “I’m talking about the war.”
“What war?”
“The one that haunts our dreams.”
I LOVE THIS WORLD SM

185. “This isn’t a cell. It’s my room.” LMAO
186. Ok don’t be dumb guys the Augurs don’t think y’all are sleeping together
187. What are they plotting
188. What do they want THEM to be plotting…
189. She assumed the bathroom was a torture chamber LMAO
190. Omg Laia you CANNOT BE THIS DUMB
191. MAZEN IS LYING TO YOU DO NOT BETRAY ELIAS FOR HIM? WTF
192. GIRL!!!!!!!!!
193. Child Elias sounds so happy I’m so sad
194. CHILD ELIAS AND HELENE SURVIVING TOGETHER
195. I’M SO SAD
196. “For tonight, maybe we can just be Laia and Elias.”
197. Take off that mask Laia TAKE IT OFF
198. “Here, now, he is just Elias and I am just Laia, and we are, both of us, drowning.” I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING
199. I’m so sad they’re never going to have this reprieve again will they
200. My poor sad broken children
201. I feel like I need to go listen to 80s music and cry
202. God I LOVE HELENE THOUGH
203. THE FOUUURTHHHHHH TRIIIIAAAALLLL
204. Honestly I’m terrified LMAO
205. Imagine I was actually competing??? I’M SO INVESTED
206. I MIGHT AS WELL BE
207. I’d be so bad though I’d get dropped in the desert during trial one and be like well this is it
208. Wouldn’t even make it to the zombie graveyard

209. When Laia, a terrible spy, gets caught for being a terrible spy

210. Wow I HATE MARCUS
211. THEY’VE JUST CASUALLY DECREED THAT LAIA IS TO DIE?!
212. LMAO YES HELENE PUNCH THE A#&HOLE
213. Ugh no wait AGAIN
214. Ughhhhh Elias and Helene UGH
215. MARCUS
216. NOOOOOOO
217. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
218. N O O O O
219. I DON’T LIKE THIS ONE BIT!!!!!!!!
220. I am emotionally exhausted but there’s a whole other part wtf
221. Omg Laia isn’t gonna run again
222. Come onnnn Laia
223. Ugh I have SO MANY QUESTIONS
224. KILL HIM LAIA
225. GOD I WANT LAIA TO KILL A MAN
226. I’m just so… distraught
227. AS LONG AS MEN ARE IN CHARGE WE CANNOT HAVE NICE THINGS

228. I don’t know if it’s more difficult to figure out who I ship or who I trust

229. Omg yes Laia go go go
230. Everything is so bad but I am so here for this character arc
231. Elias if you deserted how would Laia be alive homegirl would have died on like three separate occasions
232. Keris is so… interesting
233. LMAO KERIS THIS IS THE WORST PEP TALK EVER

234. “This was what Cain spoke of: the freedom to go to my death knowing it’s for the right reason.” I’m so sad
235. “That day, I thought my world was ending. In a way, I was right. Now it’s time to remake my world. Time to redo my ending.” Yes Laia
236. Elias you sass queen
237. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for Marcus to die??? Bc I cannot wait
238. I have so many feelings about Elias and Helene I’m suffering
239. “As I stare into her eyes, she brings the ax down.” Ugh come on Laia where are you
240. Yessss there you are
241. AND WITH EXPLOSIVES

242. Elias: “What will happen when I die? Will I go peaceful?”
Laia:

243. THE TUNNEL
244. THE OATH
245. AHHHH
246. Ugh Faris and Dex letting him get away with a smile on their faces I’m so emo
247. Oh god Helene’s going to catch up to them isn’t she
248. SHE IS SHE DID SHE’S THERE
249. Aw and she saved his grandfather
250. I LOVE MY QUEEN OF ATTITUDE AND DAGGERS
251. I’m so sad for my queen of attitude and daggers
252. “Into the unknown. Into freedom.” Remember when I thought this would be FUN

Consensus: I have been emotionally exhausted by Sabaa’s witchcraft and cannot wait to spend the next few days reading TORCH and REAPER because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
 


Have you read AN EMBER IN THE ASHES? Are you ready for A REAPER AT THE GATES? Let me know what your thoughts were @tbreitfeller or down below!
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