December 20, 2019 by TinyNavajo
A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published June 12, 2018*
I finally got to the book that enticed me to read this series in the first place. I absolutely LOVE the cover art and it makes me want to just stroke the cover and let no one else have it. Sadly, I don’t own a copy, I had borrowed a copy from my library and it was just so pretty! I may need to buy the second book and this one just to have it on my shelves. Just. So. PRETTY!
The highly anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir’s New York Times bestselling EMBER QUARTET.
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.
I love that this paritcular book seems to be focusing a bit more on Helene as she becomes the Blood Shrike in full, as well as Laia as she struggles to find a way to bring down the Nightbringer, and one who has brought this whole war about. We don’t seem much of Elias until the end of the book, and even then, he has gone through such a radical change that Laia doesn’t recognize him for who she remembers him to be. All three main characters go through changes you can see and makes you want to tear your hair out.
The best part of this book though is that the villains, the Nightbringer and the Commandant, are humanized a bit more than I would normally expect. And it was great! I truly loved learning a little bit more about the pasts of both character and little more insight to why they are doing what they are doing. The Nightbringer makes a bit more sense, while I still can’t really stand the Commandant.
Sabaa Tahir does an excellent job at not only following the storylines of every character we have access to their minds, and a few that we do not have access to, and I love the humanity she instills into her characters; whether they have humanity or not. And I love that she also gives her characters cause to see humanity in others as well, even if it is unwilling.
Now, the ending…the ending…holy MOSES!! When I finished reading this all I could think was I. NEED. THE. NEXT. BOOK!!! …NOW!!!! But, I have to wait till 2020 I believe. Lord help me, but I will make it in order to finish Sabaa Tahir’s excellent series!
Do you like it when villains are humanized? Or do you just want to see them as the scum they are? Comment below and let me know!