Dec 31, 2020

Mini Review--A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir, Nicole Andelfinger, & Sonia Liao


Within the Empire there are no questions, only orders.

Elias, Helene, and Tavi are Fivers—in training to become elite military recruits for the Martial Empire at Blackcliff Academy. When they’re sent on a dangerous mission to steal a heavily-guarded poison on Isle South, they soon find themselves up against surprising enemies—including other recruits. As the true horror of their assignment is revealed, these three will begin to confront the harrowing realities of Martial rule, their place in the system...and the choices they must make to survive.

New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir joins writer Nicole Andelfinger and artist Sonia Liao for an all-new original graphic novel revealing an early tale of Elias and Helene at Blackcliff, and a stirring standalone chapter in the An Ember in the Ashes mythology.





A Thief Among the Trees is the combined work of Sabaa Tahir, Nicole Andelfinger, and Sonia Liao to bring us a totally kickbutt amazing graphic novel set in the world of An Ember in the Ashes! It tells a story of young Elias and Helene with their friend Tavi as they are in training to become military recruits for the Martial Empire. Though we lack Laia, this was still an amazing story with gorgeous illustrations that gave us insight to Elias character.

Granted, I haven't been in this world for a few years, and still need to read the final book. SHOCK! I know! Lol. But since I'm doing a New Year's Eve readathon of all my short little reads and graphic novels I decided to add this one to the mix! We're halfway through the last day of this year now. 

Elias, Helene, and Tavi are sent to an island where a dangerous group is creating a danger substance that they are required to retrieve or they will suffer the consequences. Having to best their fellow classmates and get around the highly dangerous criminals should be challenge enough, but when Elias sees what is being done to the Scholars, he's coming to realize that he might be fighting for the wrong cause.

I would say diving back into this world was seamlessly easy, but it wasn't really. Not for me at least. Especially since I didn't read any previous notes for the series, since you know, this is a prequel. It was just a little hard to remember certain terms and the rules of the world. What laws and such are established and why this and that are dangerous or foolhardy tasks. It didn't detract my enjoyment of the story at large though.

Sonia Liao's illustrations are positively gorgeous. The details to the characters and their harsh environment really set the scene. 

The story itself was pretty moving. A young Helene already has ambition in her eyes, Elias and Tavi are more seeing certain things for the first time and it changes their whole outlook. It was a pretty powerful little read. And if Goodreads is to be believed, there are TWO more in the works! I might have missed the announcement if Sabaa made it earlier this year, but I am totally excited for it! Makes me wonder if Laia could make a sudden appearance!

All in all, A Thief Among the Trees was a glorious insight to the character of Elias, and even Helene as well. They're young youthful adolescents who are only slowly seeing the world around them, and already we can see their character growth form into the people we first met in An Ember in the Ashes. Truly a remarkable and fun read for fans of the series already and a good starting point for new readers should they want to take the dive!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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