Sabaa Tahir is currently hard at work on the fourth and final volume in her series, An Ember in the Ashes. Naturally, we couldn’t stop ourselves from asking for a few hints about how she will end this epic saga.
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: You’re deep into the series now.
Sabaa Tahir: Yes, I am. Three books in.
PRH: Did you anticipate that it would be this big?
ST: No, I always knew that it was going to be four books, but I didn’t realize how much the fandom would expand. That’s actually been one of the coolest things about this: seeing how all sorts of people enjoy the series, from twelve year-olds to the 82 year-old woman who recently wrote to me.
PRH: Do you recall any series that you read growing up that really grabbed your attention?
ST: Absolutely. The Shannara series by Terry Brooks has been one of my favorites since I was about 11. I absolutely love that series, and I will still read anything Terry Brooks writes because he is one of my original favorite fantasy authors.
PRH: Has being a writer of a popular fantasy series given you any more insight into them than you had as a reader?
ST: I’m much more forgiving than I used to be of authors who take their time with books. I’d rather that you take your time and get it right. I understand that point of view now, but used to complain when I was a reader.
PRH: We’re at a very dramatic point in the series. Should we still be optimistic about how things will turn out, or are you just going to reach out and destroy that?
ST: I think that there will be some destruction, but I can’t say anything more than that. There is going to be a fourth book, of course, so maybe you should always have hope.
PRH: Any hints?
ST: Someone you like is going to die. That’s about all I can say.