Diverse Characters Mondays is my self hosted weekly meme/feature celebrating my favorite diverse characters. Or at least it was supposed to be a weekly feature except I only post them once in a blue moon nowadays.
If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are a character who is not a white allocishet able person (note that this is in no way a definite definition of a diverse character and feel free to comment or email me if you think I need to add/change anything).
If anyone wants to participate, please do! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.
I just reread An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night in preparation of the third book coming out later in June. Because I’ve already written book reviews for both books, I thought I should dedicate a post to the wonderful Laia of Serra. If you haven’t read this series yet, please go do yourself the favor.
Laia of Serra
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that’s a burden and the kind that gives you purpose.
Laia is a Scholar, a group of people who have been conquered by the Martials. Her life is turned upside down when during a Martial raid, her brother is captured by the soldiers and her grandparents are killed. To get her brother out of jail, Laia makes a deal with Scholar rebels to spy on the Commandant, the head of the best Martial training school and the most dangerous woman in the Empire. Laia is to be sent as her slave and gather whatever information she can about the Commandant and her school, Blackcliff Academy.
Laia goes through incredible development in An Ember in the Ashes. She starts off being frightened and feeling helpless in a dire situation. She doesn’t think she is smart or capable enough to do what she sets out to do. We see her gradually get bolder and more confident.
As long as there is life, there is hope.
There is an emphasis in YA that a “strong” female protagonist has to be a good fighter or have a super-power that makes them more powerful than everyone else. And while I love my fighter girls (Helene and Inej and Nina and Lada among others), Laia is a nice change from that idea. Laia is a strong female character because of her resilience and determination, because of her ability to survive horrors and come out of them stronger than before.
Laia remains hopeful and optimistic. She learns to believe in herself and those around her. Her emotional strength is what keeps her going when the world is against her. She learns from her mistakes and lets those mistakes be a reminder for the next time she faces a similar situation.
I’m SO EXCITED for the next book! I need to find out what’s next in store for Laia and the gang.