Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Playlist: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Hey everyone! Welcome to the final phase of the An Ember in the Ashes fan activity! Phase Five is all about Romance, so I'll be featuring my OTP and favorite-ship-ever, Elias and Laia. And be sure to check out my posts for Phase One (Name the Fandom), Phase Two (Sequel Excitement), Phase Three (Character Love), and Phase Four (Fan Art Celebration).

When I took a look at what the fifth phase would feature, I immediately thought, romance? Team Laia? Team Helene? No no no. First of all, there is only Laia and Elias. Helene, you're cool (errr, kind of), but not that cool. You can have... Keenan.

So! Want to see the playlist I came up with, that represents Elias and Laia's romance, through my eyes? Each song embodies a scene in the book featuring Elias and Laia that made me swoon! Elias and Laia's romance is kind of a slow-burn type, so all of these songs are gentle and seductive in their own way. Enjoy!

ALSO - there are totally spoilers, if you haven't read the book.

Josh Groban - To Where You Are

Elias and Laia, at the Moon Festival

I loooove Josh Groban. All of his music is so dreamy! This particular song fits this scene, in my opinion. Elias and Laia are both enjoying the festival and pretending their lives are different. For even just a moment, Laia can flirt with a boy, and Elias can flirt with Laia. I like this stanza from the song:

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Because I think it fits well with the mood. The two of them dance, and they feel free at the Festival.

A pleasant peacefulness steals over me. No one looks at me with loathing or free. I don't have to watch my back to keep up the granite exterior. I feel free. (page 258)

The mischief in his eyes makes me forget, for a too-brief second, that I am a slave and that my brother is in prison and that everyone else I love is dead. (page 266)

Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

Elias and Laia, in Elias's room, when Laia is taken as his prize

Quite possibly my favorite scene of the entire book! I chose Chasing Cars because of these lines in the song:

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Which I think go pretty neatly with this scene. Laia asks Elias to be just Elias and just Laia, not Aspirant and Scholar.

"Maybe we don't have to be Scholar slave and Mask," I drop the dagger. "For tonight, maybe we can just be Laia and Elias." (page 370)

The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine

Elias and Laia, Elias choosing to defend Laia at the Trial of Loyalty

I love the Civil Wars. This is my favorite song of theirs. This song fits the Trial of Loyalty pretty well, at least on a metaphorical level. Elias cares about Laia so much that he refuses to harm her, and therefore, win the Trial. She is "wine" to him, because he cares about her, but she is also "poison", because he cannot harm her in the Trial, given his feelings. He has no choice in the matter, because he cares about her so much.

Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
I don't have a choice but I'd still choose you
Oh I don't love you but I always will

Elias is presented with the opportunity to win the Trials, but he can't do it.

"I told you there's a line I'm not crossing." I feel strangely calm as I say it, calmer than I've felt in weeks. Laia's eyes shift from Helene to me rapidly. "This is that line. I won't kill her." (page 387)

Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day

Elias and Laia, the final scene

This one was a weird choice, because it fits more of Elias and Helene's relationship than anything else. But I like it, because it has a finality to it, like Elias is leaving Blackcliff and entering the night (i.e. the unknown), with Laia.

Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way

I like these lines - a new beginning with Laia, though it wasn't easy to come about. A goodbye with Helene - she didn't (couldn't) come with him.

"Don't forget this, Helene," I say. "Don't forget us. Don't become like him." (page 445)

"I'm with you, Laia." I reach out and take her hand. She squeezes it. (page 446)

And that's that! All of these are some of my favorite songs, so now you know what type of music I like :)

About An Ember in the Ashes:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Book One of the An Ember in the Ashes series
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Official Summary:

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

About the Author:

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 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.

Website | Novel Website | Goodreads | Twitter


  1. Since I still haven't read the book although I really really ought to, I'll return to this post once I have finished it! ;)

    1. Nooo, Pili, definitely do NOT read this! *blocks Pili from post* :D

  2. Between growing up in a motel and working nights as a newspaper editor, it seems like Sabaa had a steady supply of inspiration. :-)

  3. Yeah, you are awesome Alyssa :) Thank you for sharing about all of this. <3 Gorgeous playlist sweetie :)


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