Hey there, book lovers!

If you're a fan of Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes series, then you're probably just as excited to read the third book, A Reaper at the Gates. And let me tell you, this book you won't want to miss!

It's packed with action, emotion, and intrigue, taking you on a thrilling journey through the Martial Empire. With war on the horizon and the fate of the characters hanging in the balance, you'll be on the edge of your seat the entire time.

So, prepare yourself for a story about family, forgiveness, love, and loss that will keep you captivated until the very end. Trust me, this is a book you won't be able to put down!

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Book Details

A Reaper at the Gates

In the third book of the Ember in the Ashes series, Helene Aquilla, known as the Blood Shrike, finds herself in a race against time to safeguard her sister and the entire Empire from impending war.
His past haunts Emperor Marcus and becomes increasingly unstable and violent. At the same time, the ruthless Commandant, Keris Veturia, seizes the opportunity to grow her power, leaving a trail of destruction behind her.

Laia of Serra is on a mission to stop the Nightbringer, facing unexpected threats from those she thought she could trust. Meanwhile, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as a Soul Catcher, but he's torn between his duty and his love for Laia. As the characters face their demons and fight against the looming threat of war, their growth and struggles.

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Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publication Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction

Series: An Ember in the Ashes Series

Other Books in the Series:

  • An Ember in the Ashes
  • A Torch Against the Night
  • A Sky Beyond the Storm

Spice Level: 0.

For more information on how I rate spice in books click here.

Note: Readers who enjoy thrilling adventures, complex characters, and a touch of romance will be captivated by the world-building and storytelling in "Reaper at the Gates."

Spoiler Free Review

Now, let me tell you what stood out to me the most— the characters. Tahir has crafted such complex and relatable individuals that you can't help but become emotionally invested in their journey. Each character faces their own set of demons and must confront their fears head-on.

Elias's inner conflict, torn between his loyalty and love, really tugged at my heartstrings. And let's not forget the amazing world-building! Tahir's vivid descriptions whisk you away to a place full of history, diverse cultures, and fantastical elements.

But, like with any book, "Reaper at the Gates" isn't flawless. One thing that left me a bit wanting was the pacing. While the action-packed parts kept me hooked, there were times when the story felt like it was dragging. Some chapters seemed like unnecessary diversions, slowing down the overall flow. I couldn't help but wonder if certain plotlines could've been trimmed down or skipped altogether.

Also, while the characters were gripping, I couldn't shake the feeling that some of their storylines lacked depth. Elias and Laia's relationship was intriguing, but at times their interactions felt a bit repetitive. Their ongoing struggle between duty and love started to lose its impact as the story went on. I wished for more exploration of their personal growth rather than just repetitive inner conflicts.

In-depth Review

The following review contains spoilers. If you have not read the previous books in the series, proceed with caution.

Plot Summary

In the beginning, the Nightbringer, who is the King of the Jinn, teaches his followers how to cause chaos in the empire.

Laia, Darin, and Tribe Nur rescue Tribe Saif from Martial wagons. Meanwhile, Laia's friend Elias is imprisoned in the Waiting Place by Shaeva, who wants to be the new Soul Catcher. Laia is captured by Helene, the Emperor's Blood Shrike, to lure Elias. Helene is forced by Emperor Marcus, who tortures her pregnant sister, to capture Elias and stop Commandant Keris.

Elias rescues Laia and tells Helene to seek guidance from his grandfather, Quin. Laia goes back to Tribe Nur while Helene tries to prove Elias is alive to thwart Keris's influence.

Helene goes to Navium but encounters the Nightbringer who disrupts her plans. She learns about Keris's ambitions from Quin. On her way back, Helene is ambushed but saved by Captain Harper and Dex. The Nightbringer teaches Helene healing. She captures Keris but finds Empress Livia poisoned. Helene heals Livia but Keris escapes.

Laia and Darin navigate tensions between the Martial army and the Tribes. They seek help to defeat the Nightbringer.

Mariner soldiers are hot on their trail in Adisa. Along comes Musa, swooping in like a hero to save the day. But there's a catch – he needs their assistance in reigniting the flame of the Scholars' Resistance.

As Helene defends Antium, Laia plans to steal a piece of the Star from her. However, the Nightbringer reveals the ring doesn't contain the Star. Cook who is revealed to be Laia's mother sacrifices herself, aiding the Scholars' escape.

Elias, now a Soul Catcher, battles the Jinn's ghost army. He returns to Antium and defeats the Karkaun army using his magic.

Helene fights Keris, who retreats to Pilgrim’s Gap. Helene seeks the Nightbringer's help to protect evacuees in exchange for her mask.

Helene wakes to find Livia and her baby safe. They plan to free their people from the Karkauns, the Nightbringer, and Keris.

In the Waiting Place, Elias helps Marcus's ghost move on. Laia realizes she and Elias can't be together. The Nightbringer, who possessed the Star, frees the jinn, fulfilling his goal.

My Thoughts

This book is the third installment in the An Ember in the Ashes series and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

One of the things I loved most about this book is the character development. Helene, in particular, really stood out to me in this installment. She went from being a character I wasn't sure about to someone I was rooting for with all my heart. And don't even get me started on the chemistry between her and Avitas Harper – it's so sweet.

The action scenes in this book are intense and engaging. What's impressive is the author's talent for creating tension and suspense throughout the story. It adds even more excitement to the book.

I must say, I was completely caught off guard by the plot twist involving Laia's mother, Cook. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the author throws in a curveball that changes everything. I have to give it to the author, that twist was truly jaw-dropping.

I loved the growing understanding between Helene and Laia. Both of these characters stood for justice and freedom, and their relationship showed the power of shared interests.

However, there were some things that I didn't enjoy. First of all, the pacing of the story felt off to me. There were just too many subplots and adventures that felt like filler content.

Although Marcus' death was satisfying, it felt rushed and too convenient. And let's be real: Laia is my least favorite character in the entire series. Her love story with Elias was not convincing, and I'm glad they didn't end up together. It was annoying and not well-developed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it had its flaws. I just wish the pacing was smoother, and that the focus was more on the main plot. And as for Laia and Elias' relationship, well, let's just say that it could have been better. All in all, it's a good read, but don't expect it to be perfect!

Thanks for reading!