Exclusive SDCC 2015 Interview with Sabaa Tahir

We conclude our San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Series with Sabaa Tahir

One of the strongest debuts for a Young Adult novel this year has been by author Sabaa Tahir for her book, An Ember in the Ashes.  I was taken aback by how strong and how ruthless the empire Tahir wrote about, but I was enthralled by the characters and their determination to get through their oppression.  It’s an inspiring tale, but also a harsh one.  So, when I had the chance to speak to Ms. Tahir about her book, I took it.

Of course, the first question I make is a terrible error in which I mix her series with author Renee Ahdieh‘s series when I question the name of her second book (which has now been revealed to be A Torch Against the Night).  We then go on to talk about the book, who she liked writing the point-of-view from the most, which got me choked up thinking about as I try to explain a moment in the book.  Ah, silly me.  Watch the video to find out what else we spoke about, including hints about book two, A Torch Against the Night!

Forgive the video straying off to the side as I played both cameraman and (very talkative) interviewer.  If you haven’t read Sabaa’s book, I highly recommend it!

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. After graduating from UCLA, she worked for the Washington Post for 5 years, and she began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor.  She left the Post to work solely on her book.  She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

About An Ember in the Ashes:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


About the upcoming A Torch Against the Night (Book Two of An Ember in the Ashes):

*warning: spoilers for those who have not read An Ember in the Ashes*

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.