An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Published: April 28th, 2015
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Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
Elias is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
1. How much of the characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I think many of the characters are a weird extension of me. But it’s sort of the way one’s kids are an extension of oneself, you know? Your kids have these similarities to you, but in the end, they are their own people. It’s the same with my characters. Though I’d like to think I have less in common with the villains of the book…
2. If you could switch places with any of your characters, who would it be? Why?
I’d probably switch places with Spiro Teluman, the blacksmith, because I think it would be so cool to make armor and swords. But then, considering some of his back story, maybe not…
3. Can you share a teaser of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES with our readers?
I would love to! There is a full teaser here: http://anemberintheashesbook.com/book/
4. What scene was your favorite to write?
Without giving anything away, there is a scene close to the end of the book between Elias and the Commandant, (the villain of EMBER). It was a challenging scene to write, but it’s also the culmination of a lot of different things, so I really enjoyed it.
5. What scene was the hardest for you to write?
Again, without giving anything away, I found two scenes equally difficult to write. The first is the first half of Chapter 3. The second scene I struggled with begins a couple of pages into Chapter 40. Both scenes made me quite sad—I must have rewritten them dozens of times.
ABOUT THE SABAA TAHIR
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s eighteen-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 working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
For more information, please visit Sabaa at SabaaTahir.com or on Twitter @SabaaTahir.
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