FAQ of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir [2024 Edition]

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An Ember in the Ashes Fanart of Laia and Elias

This Young Adult fantasy series contains four books in the following order:

  1. An Ember in the Ashes
  2. A Torch against the Night
  3. A Reaper at the Gates
  4. A Sky beyond the Storm

Sabaa Tahir, a Pakistani-American author, wrote this series.

And Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, published the first book in 2015.

An Ember in the Ashes is a New York Times bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, and an international bestseller.

In this article, I’m going to discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about this marvelous series.

Characters in An Ember in the Ashes

I’m going to start with a discussion of some of the most important characters in this book!

Laia of Serra

Laia and Elias Fanart
Elias and Laia

Laia of Serra is the main character of An Ember in the Ashes.

She’s a Scholar, a race of people who are oppressed. Scholars once ruled the lands having been known for their knowledge and arts, but it has since been conquered by the Martials, who named it The Empire.

As a part of this oppression, Martials brutally killed her grandparents during a raid and imprisoned her brother too. Thus, Laia has made it her mission to free her brother Darin.

Elias Veturius

Elias Veturius is the son of Keris Veturia and grandson of Quin Veturius, all members of Gens Veturia.

In this book, he is twenty (20) years old. His mother, who never wanted a child, gave him up at birth, and the Tribe Saif adopted him.

He lived with Tribe Saif for seven years before Blackcliff Academy recruited him to become a Martial.

In an Ember in the Ashes, he has in a love triangle between his best (childhood) friend Helene Aquilla and main character Laia of Serra.

Helene Aquilla

Helene Aquilla is a Martial who trains at Blackcliff, and she’s Elias Veturius’s best friend.

She is a member of Gens Aquilla.

Helene’s loyalty lies with the Martial Empire, and she will do anything for it.

At the end of An Ember in the Ashes, Helene becomes the Blood Shrike, the second most powerful person in the Empire (next to the Emperor).

The Blood Shrike’s job is to lead the Black Guard ensuring the military’s total loyalty. From the book, A Torch Against the Night on, she’s opposed to Keris Veturia, who’s only out on power.

This creates a horrifyingly good constant competition between them that’s most intriguing to read.


The Commandant, also known as Keris Veturia, is the leader at Blackcliff Academy.

She trains Martial students and leads the army.

She also is the mother of Elias Veturius.

Keris is a cruel character who is only loyal to herself.

She’s dangerous and seems to have an evil scheme all planned out.

In An Ember in the Ashes, Laia has to become her slave in order to spy on her, and she quickly learns that Keris is not at all pleasant to her slaves – or a pleasant person in general.


Darin of Serra is Laia’s older brother.

In An Ember in the Ashes, he is captured and kept prisoner, which drives Laia to save him.

Darin is a former blacksmith and possesses knowledge on how to make Martial blades, which will become an important plot point in the following books.


[This section contains major spoilers!]

Keenan is the second-in-command of the Resistance.

He’s someone with two sides: either ice cold or very warm and sweet.

He eventually falls in love with Laia and Laia falls in love with him.

However, in A Torch Against the Night, Keenan reveals himself to be the Nightbringer.

He only wanted one thing from Laia, and that was the necklace that was part of the Star, which can (once brought together) lift the curse of the jinn and free them.

Elias and Helene

In An Ember in the Ashes, Elias Veturius and Helene Aquilla have a bit of romance together.

They are both Martials in training and have been friends since childhood.

They develop feelings for each other and this results in a love triangle between Helene, Elias and Laia in the first book.

Helene and Harper

In the second book, we meet a new character: Avitas Harper.

He was the spy of the Commandant (Keris Veturia) but he deserted to eventually become Helene’s second-in-command.

Helene and Harper have a romance together that is at its full glory in the ending of A Reaper at the Gates and throughout A Sky Beyond the Storm.

It is also revealed that [spoiler alert] Avitas is the half-brother of Elias Veturius.


Ghuls are creatures of shadows who feed on sorrow, blood, and pain.

They are attracted to people who are suffering and feed on them.

Not everyone can see them, but Laia and Darin can.

Ghuls often take on the appearance of a loved one to hurt the people who can see them.


Jinn are mythical fey creatures of fire with lots of power that existed long before humankind.

They can manipulate earth, water, air and wind, stone, and the weather.

But they can also heal, see the future, and become invisible.

They once were the Shepherds of the Dead before Soul Catchers had to take over their task.

They had been creatures of light before humankind cursed them and locked them up into the Forest of Dusk.

Many years of imprisonment have made them mad and malicious.

When Jinn die or are killed (which is very hard), they speak prophecies.

Kar Kaun

The Kar Kauns are a race of people who live in the south of the Martial Empire and are led by Grímarr.

In A Reaper at the Gates, they attack the capital city of the Empire Antium, which results in a great battle.

They are allies of Keris Veturia.


Musa of Adisa is the infamous Beekeeper and a leader of the Resistance.

He was the Prince Consort to Princess Nikla (Marinn).

We meet him in the third book, A Reaper at the Gates.

Is An Ember in the Ashes appropriate?

Yes, an ember in the ashes is marketed to 12+ age span.

In the first book, there’s only some kissing but nothing more.

On the other hand, it is pretty violent which does fit the setting of ancient Rome.

I’d personally recommend it to teenagers who are 14 or older.

In the following books, it gets a bit spicier, each book a bit more.

There are no explicit descriptions, but it’s pretty obvious what the characters are doing. I’d still say 14+ for these ones – but that’s really the minimum.

Is An Ember in the Ashes a series?

Yes. An Ember in the Ashes is a Young Adult fantasy series that contains 4 books in the following order:

  1. An Ember in the Ashes
  2. A Torch against the Night
  3. A Reaper at the Gates
  4. A Sky beyond the Storm

Is the An Ember in the Ashes series finished?

Yes. A Sky beyond the Storm is the final book in this series and was released on December 1, 2020.

This means you can pick up the books without any worries that you’ll be trapped in a cliff-hanger – and be hanging on for a year.

You’re safe! Time to binge!

Is An Ember in the Ashes enemies to lovers?

Yes, the primary love interest is between Laia who is a Scholar and Elias who is a Martial, who are enemies in the book.

Their relationship starts off as a rivalry.

Laia carries hate for Martials in her heart because of her past.

It was Martials who killed her grandparents and imprisoned her brother Darin.

Because of this and because of Elias being a Martial, they have an enemies to lovers chemistry.

Is An Ember in the Ashes going to be a movie?

There are rumors that An Ember in the Ashes is going to be a movie.

However, there is not yet any confirmation that this is true.

There’s no release date and no information about a director or any screenwriters.

The only information available is that the producer will be Mark Johnson, who won the Best Picture Academy award for his 1988’s drama Rain Man.

There are no official announcements and information listed as above dates back to 2013.

In short, there are no specific plans, and it’s also not guaranteed that the available information above is 100% correct.

Does An Ember in the Ashes have romance?


An Ember in the Ashes has romance between Laia and Elias, Elias and Helene (book 1), Laia and Keenan (book 2/3), and Helene and Harper (book 2/3/4).

Does An Ember in the Ashes have magic?

Yes, An Ember in the Ashes has several magical mentions in the books.

There are magical creatures like Ghouls, Jinn, and Wrights based on Middle-Eastern folklore.

Augurs are ex-humans who possess the ability to see into the future.

Besides that, the main character Laia possesses the ability to be invisible.

There’s also focus on gods and other supernatural creatures that appear throughout the books.

Where does An Ember in the Ashes take place?

An Ember in the Ashes takes place in a setting of ancient Rome, though it leans quite heavily on Middle Eastern culture too.

This creates an interesting combination.

The world itself – with the greatest kingdom called “The Empire” – has a rich backstory and is truly a masterpiece in depth.

How many chapters are in An Ember in the Ashes?

An Ember in the Ashes [first edition] has forty-nine (49) chapters.

How many words are in An Ember in the Ashes?

An Ember in the Ashes has 118,348 words.

How many pages are in An Ember in the Ashes?

The first edition of An Ember in the Ashes has 464 pages.

Who does Laia end up with in An Ember in the Ashes?

[Contains spoilers, of course!]

Eventually, in a Sky Beyond the Storm, Laia officially ends up with Elias.

An Ember in the Ashes love triangle

This novel has plenty of love triangles between Laia-Elias-Helene, Laia-Elias-Keenan, and a bit between Elias-Helene-Harper.

An Ember in the Ashes villain

An Ember in the Ashes has multiple villains. The one true villain (the big bad force) is the Nightbringer.

He is a shadow creature with sun-shaped eyes, and the only thing he wants is to free the jinn and take revenge on the humans, especially Scholars because it was a Scholar king who imprisoned his kind.

Keris Veturia is an antagonist of Laia, Elias, and Helene.

And there’s also Marcus Farrar, who’s also an antagonist for all three main characters.

An Ember in the Ashes weapons

There are several weapons in this series. But the most important ones are the Martial Blades.

They are produced by Spiro Teluman, a very talented blacksmith.

Darin of Serra was his secret apprentice who learned how to make Martial Steel too, without the knowledge of the Empire.

They are the only two (living) who know this, and in the following books especially, Darin is a very wanted person for this skill.

There are also scims, weapons mostly used by Martials.

A scim (short for scimitar) is a single-edged sword with a curved blade often used in Middle Eastern cultures.


An Ember in the Ashes is a thrilling YA fantasy series appropriate for 12+. It has action, political intrigue, marvelous characters, and wonderful worldbuilding.

I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and YA books because it has everything you’re searching for and even a bit more.

I hope you were able to find the answer to your question! And if that isn’t the case, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!

Written by Jade

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