It is no secret that I fell in love with Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes. The world was dark and dangerous. It was wicked yet it was absolutely amazing. It really was a testament to Tahir’s writing style. It was insta-love the moment that I read that first chapter. One of the things I absolutely loved about the novel was Elias Veturius.
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.
Elias Veturius, heir of Gens Veturia, stole my heart and quickly made his way up my top ten fictional boyfriends. He’s currently my number 4. He is 6 feet 4 inches (oh my!). He is described as having golden brown skin, dark black hair, and pale gray eyes. Has he piqued your interest yet? Underneath the dark and rough look of the Mask, Elias is an actual sweetheart. However, he has to keep it hidden from the others in the Empire. He stands out in the Blackcliff Military Academy, not because he is the son of the Commandant, but because he is one of the best fighters. He is chosen to be an Aspirant, one of the potentials to become the future emperor. Yes, he’s that good. What I love most about Elias is that he strives to be different. In a world where brutality, violence, rape, and hatred is praised, Elias is an outcast. He believes and hopes for a better life. He is a person full of compassion in a world filled with cruelty. He has a beautiful soul. He’s smart and he’s a strategist. He is an amazing best friend and loves his family, his tribal family and grandfather at least.
If you don’t know who Elias Veturius is, then I urge you to read An Ember in the Ashes. He’s not the only reason to read that book actually. There are strong female characters in the book as well! But seriously, pick up a copy!
Who is your Fictional Man Crush this Monday?