Cover Geek #1: An Ember in The Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

After finishing what is now one of my favorite fantasy series, Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, a few months ago in 2 DAYS, I was waiting & cyber-stalking Sabaa Tahir for news of the next book in the quartet. (If you haven’t read the books, you should definitely go check them out now, right here!) I finally got info on the 14th of August (2 days before I wrote this post).

Book 3 will be titled A Reaper at the Gates which sounds super cool & Helene-ish, who is like the most bad-ass antihero ever! Woohoo!

And although I have to wait until 2018 for book 3, I can live off the hype for a few months.

Unfortunately, however, things were switched up a little for us. Instead of a cover matching books 1 & 2, book 3 has a new cover as well as a revamp for 1 & 2.

Image result for an ember in the ashes and a torch against the night

Image result for a reaper at the gates

Now, I’m not too peeved about this because I haven’t purchased the novels (I almost always wait for the box set to come out for series because I like boxes & bonus stuff like cool maps &, well, matching covers).

But, I know some of the fandom is in a little turmoil as their books will not match anymore which, frankly, sucks. Lucky me being saved by my greediness for bonus features.

The point of this post is to weigh the differences, positives, and negatives of the new cover. Part of this is expanded upon from my Goodreads post & is more eloquent than non coherent fangirling.

Please note that this is my personal opinion and is not based off of seeing the physical hardbound or paperback copies, but instead based off of online images, i.e. Tahir’s Instagram post.



  • Representation for people of color! I love how Laia is front and center & she’s loud and proud with her darker skin. It’s important for teen to see people who look like them on book covers, as Tahir mentioned on her Twitter.
  • I LOVE THE TYPOGRAPHY. It’s super creative compared to the last, and I think if they print it out right, it’ll look GORGEOUS. I should have expected it from her first Instagram post with the new typography, but I wasn’t thinking enough. I like it better than the first because it has that nice, sleek look that the old covers didn’t have. It’s a lot cleaner looking and matches well with each other.
  • The new cover set has the titles all in a similar color scheme (gold, silver, bronze…and maybe copper?) which is very pretty in comparison to how the titles of the old covers didn’t match very well (A Torch Against the Night had that weird purple-y blue material that didn’t match well).
  • The new covers should be more cohesive in the sense that all versions would have similar covers vs. UK vs. America vs. other language editions because I’ve seen at least three different English covers that have slightly different backgrounds, not to mention all the versions in other languages (I would love to start an Ember cover collection…).



  • I’m not that much of a fan of the colors they chose. There is one color on each cover, and are not super cohesive in that sense. Maybe if they were all warm or cool, then I’d like it a little more, but there are a lot of primaries and very strong colors in there. It comes off as very strong and it obscures Laia’s skin color a bit. It might just be my computer and how I’m viewing it because I haven’t seen it in person, but they seem very strong and bright.
  • This is honestly the part that bugs me the most about the new covers, but Elias’ scimitar is more like a sword. Tahir specifically mentions throughout the first two novels that Elias has “a curved scimitar.” That’s kind of a redundant statement because, as far as I know, scimitars are always curved, but it works well for clarification. They’re never as straight as the sword on the cover, and I don’t like the inaccuracy (or maybe I’m wrong, you never know). Here’s what a scimitar looks like:

Image result for scimitar

  • I’m not that much of a fan of people on the cover unless they’re graphics, etc. It’s just not my cup of tea because it skews how I imagine the characters as. For instance, Laia had much more golden eyes in my head after reading the book than what’s on the cover. She doesn’t seem to have any trace of the gold in her eyes, but it might just be the resolution/computer issues.

I don’t have enough information to judge which is a better cover choice for book three, especially without reading the book or feeling the cover (is it papery like A List of Cages? velvety like Flatiron/Macmillan’s Caraval? plastic-y like Katherine Tegen’s The Beginning of Everything?) and seeing how they used the UV plastic coating, embossing, and metallic elements.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update this post or post again about the new cover changes on one of my favorite book series once I get my hands on a physical copy (it’s so far away!).

Despite the controversy surrounding the cover change, I still find it refreshing to see the new covers & I cannot wait to read book 3, A Reaper at the Gates, coming out on April 10th, 2018!

compressed gif

What do you think of the cover change for Sabaa Tahir’s books? Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts!

P.S. I’m trying to add a third blog post each week on Tuesdays which will hopefully all be Cover Geek posts, bringing you info on the best (and worst) YA covers out there!

8 thoughts on “Cover Geek #1: An Ember in The Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

  1. I totally agree that it’s frustrating to face mid-series-cover changes. I think it’s okay to be annoyed!! I know a lot of people were being bitten off because they complained about this change when it’s good that it now does feature POC characters on the cover. And I GET IT. I think that’s so so good!! But we are always allowed to be frustrated at mismatched covers! I personally love the new covers but am not so fond of the 3rd in green.😂 Just because of the green really hahah. But they look nice! And I like them better than the originals.😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh my gosh yes! i’m really glad I didn’t buy the books (still waiting for the box set!) because I dislike mismatched covers, but I think the new ones have a TON of benefits!!


  2. I really preferred the old version because the new versions, well let’s just say they skew the way I imagined everything to be. Also the color range they have picked feels very mismatched.

    I’m glad I didn’t buy the first two books although I’m sad that even though I want to buy it I wouldn’t be now.

    Also I think you meant New Cover cons instead of old covers cons? I was really confused.


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