An Ember in the Ashes8 books in series
An Ember in the Ashes Publisher's 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 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' 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.