Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

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.


My Review:

Well get ready to be mad at me folks, I’m probably totally going behind the majority with this book review, but I genuinely did not love A Reaper at the Gates nearly as much as the rest of the book world. Granted, I think this opinion probably comes from self-sabotage. Reading at a normal pace while in graduate school, especially Physical Therapy school, is literally impossible! This book took me all of last semester to finish! Literally 4+ months! HOWEVER, yes there is a however….I didn’t find myself invested enough in the story to want to choose to read at night over Netflix. I was just not engaged with the story this time, it devastates me because I loved the first two books, but alas, tis true.

A Reaper at the Gates picks up right where A Torch Against the Night left off with Elias as the new Soul Catcher, and Laia doing her best to fight against the empire from her end, all the while not knowing who to trust on her journey to free her people. Elias continues to work as the Soul Catcher, learning more about his abilities, but is caught between a world he doesn’t belong in and his feelings for Laia. However, as he grows in knowledge about his supernatural gifts, he grows farther apart from Laia. New secrets are revealed, and heartbreak is abound.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of this book, was the romantic struggle between Laia and Elias. It was like the entire world was against them being together and it just went from bad to worse! There were maybe 20 pages of the entire book of time spent with Elias and Laia in the same vicinity as one another, and to me, it just made the story drag more. I mean there were definitely some really exciting parts to the story and a huge reveal that was mind blowing that I absolutely did not see coming, but the rest of the time, it was pretty slow to me. I will still definitely see it through just to know how things work out with these characters, I’ve got to know how it ends regardless. There is supposed to be one more book, and I’ve committed this much time at this point, might as well finish it.

Buy A Reaper at the Gates on Amazon. 

 

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Review: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both. 

My Review

After absolutely loving An Ember in the Ashes, I was more than ready to get my hands on this second book! And can I just say: WOW! Tahir most certainly does not disappoint! A Torch Against the Night picks up right where the first book left off, with Laia having just freed Elias from execution under the terms that he promise to help free her brother Darin from the most guarded prison in the land.

While reading this, I needed to know that everything would be ok, because there were just so many heart wrenching events that occurred. Tahir is definitely cut throat when it comes to how far a character will go to get what they want. I would definitely not categorize this book as Young Adult just because of how brutal some of the killings are. Throughout the story, I kept freaking out over how things would possibly turn out in their favor, and honestly some things went to hell so quickly. I think Tahir utilized these terrible events to further drive the need to see the protagonists eventually succeed. I feel as if I have just as much of a burning need for vengeance as the main characters have.

Laia and Elias’ relationship evolves so much more in this second edition, which was wonderful to finally experience. They make one another stronger, and it is plain to see as their stamina is continuously tested. There was one particular plot twist that was revealed that absolutely blew my mind and changed everything for events to come. I am reeling after finishing this book, both from joy over certain romantic developments, and anticipation of the payback that is to come! Unfortunately, I have to wait till “bleeding” 2018 to read book three, which hurts my soul in every possible way!!

I would most definitely recommend you read book two in A Torch Against the Night!! Pick it up on Amazon here!

Review: An Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Review

I have heard all the hype on An Ember in the Ashes and have seen it all over bookstagram, but I never really knew what it was about until I picked it up! I actually have had this book checked out for over a month and had to keep renewing it until I was able to finally read it! And wow was it worth the wait!!! I absolutely loved this book!

The story follows the two perspectives of Laia and Elias, it alternates chapters between the two, which got pretty frustrating let me tell you. Almost every chapter ended on a cliff hanger and you had to wait to see the others POV to get back to that, it was great when the two characters began to finally interact with one another because you were able to learn more as you went. Anyway, Laia is a slave and Elias is a soldier, who happens to be the son of the leader of the army. However, things are a lot more complicated then a division of class between these two characters. Laia is forced into becoming a spy for the resistance in order to save her imprisoned brother, and Elias must make the most difficult decision of his life when he is thrown into a series of Trials made to test the very fabric of his soul. Their lives become remarkably intertwined as the stakes rise higher and higher.

The plot twists and developments in this book were non-stop!! I was so completely hooked from the start! The characters were beautifully structured and the story was very fast paced. The relationship between Elias and Laia was so endearing and very differently formed compared to past books. Though this book is not heavily romantic, it added greatly to the meaning of the content. The world that Tahir created is unlike any I’ve encountered. I cannot wait to see what comes next!! I am so eager to get my hands on book three!

If you are looking for the next great adventure, filled with twists, and epic characters, then I would most definitely recommend you read An Ember in the Ashes! Pick it up on Amazon here!