One to Watch: Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes

News from the publishing world suggests a new young adult series from a debut author might be one to keep your eyes on. Sabaa Tahir's debut An Ember in the Ashes is "the story of two teenagers fighting to survive under the Empire's brutal, militaristic regime, which has outlawed reading among the once-powerful 'Scholar' class; the 'Scholars' live under the oppression of the 'Martials,' who silently assassinate insurgents."

Both the book AND the movie were pre-empted - meaning there were several publishers / movie houses bidding for the book / movie and one offered a lot more money to buy it.  According to Publishers Lunch, "[f]ilm rights went to Paramount Pictures with Academy Award-winning producer, Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Notebook) attached...."

The book is set for publication winter of 2015 (from Razorbill / Penguin). As we get closer to the publication date, we'll see how early reviewers like it.

The book description from Tahir's Website: 

Laia, 17, is a coward and so far, it’s kept her alive. As a Scholar living under the brutal rule of the Martial Empire, Laia knows that courage will only get her killed. Then the Martials imprison Laia’s brother for treason. To save him from execution, Laia must step out of the shadows and embark on a quest that will take her from the haunted catacombs of her city to the halls of Blackcliff Academy, where the Empire trains its most feared soldiers. She must find the courage to defy everything the Martials stand for in a place where defiance has one outcome: death.
Elias, 20, is Blackcliff’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Sickened by the prospect of hunting and killing Scholars who oppose the Empire, Elias decides to desert the military. But before he can run, he’s ordered to participate in the Trials, a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. Elias must wage war in the Trials with skill and ferocity while struggling with a deep inner ambivalence. For while losing the Trials might cost him his life, winning them could cost him his soul.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at Blackcliff, 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.

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