The third book in the Ember in the Ashes series! With every book I read, I approach the ending of this series and I don’t know if I’m ready to let this one go. It’s been a long time since I’ve been enamored with an entire series (the last one being Throne of Glass, which didn’t work for me). I’ll be sad when the series is finally over, but I’m so ready for its exciting and twisty conclusion!
Here’s More About A Reaper at the Gates
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. Yet danger lurks on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power—regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. During the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help 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. However, in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender—even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
Once again, I’m just so impressed by Sabaa Tahir and this world she’s created. It’s a nonstop action-packed story that moves. I was worried with this one being the third book in a four-book series that it would be a filler between the second and the fourth book. However, there was so much happening in this one that I didn’t even imagine could take place.
In many ways, it is a filler. There’s the downfall of a major city that The Blood Shrike, Elias, and Laia are all working towards. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg for what will happen next. So you can say that this book fills the space between the second and the fourth novel, but it does it in a way that will entertain you and digs deeper into the world and the characters. I’ve read so many books in the middle of the series where it pushes you nowhere until the very last 50 pages and then it moves like fire.
I’m so glad Sabaa Tahir’s got that ability to tease and taunt you throughout the novel, make you keep reading her book, and then surprise you. She’s got a lot of tricks up her sleeve in this one and they didn’t disappoint.
I know many folks had issues with Laia and her involvement in the story, but at the same time it makes sense to her character. She doesn’t know how to fight. She’s not strong like Helene or Elias, but she has that will. I think her will to find her brother and her will to stop the Nightbringer is what really makes her interesting to me. I also love the fact that this doesn’t come easy for her. She’s losing friends left and right. Her plans never go perfectly. She tries her best, but I find I’d rather see a character fail and get back up then succeed at every attempt. She’s definitely no Mary Sue (thank God), but I love that despite her shortcomings she’s still able to keep her head up and use what she has available to her. She’s a very interesting character despite her not doing much.
And the surprises keep rolling out. Seriously, I feel like I’m watching a soap opera and every single turn there’s some bigger twist that shocks me to the point where I’m yelling at imaginary characters. They weren’t just devices to keep you guessing or surprise you, but really made the world much more complex.
I could not get enough Nightbringer. While he didn’t get a dedicated narration during the book, I absolutely loved how he popped up everywhere. It almost felt like this book showed you the dance the Nightbringer has been dancing for thousands of years. Knowing how important the story is with his specific story line made me keep a close eye on him. I think the final book will definitely have more Nightbringer and I think it’ll be really fudging good.