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

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A Reaper at the Gates

Author: Sabaa Tahir  // Published: June 12, 2018



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. 


“Hope is stronger than fear. It is stronger than hate.”

What even was this book? I was warned this would be a very wild and painful ride and it was in every sense of the word. It was one of the most gripping books of this year. Did I suffer? Yes. Do I love it with all my heart? Also, yes.

Unlike the first two books, I felt like this one had a slow start. After the ending of the second book things took a different turn. Even though it was quite slow at first, I didn’t really mind since I knew it was going to pick up eventually. It wasn’t boring. It just felt like things were slowly unraveling. I became very attached to the 3 main characters in this book. Their stories were changing in a way and they each had their own things to worry about. I was on edge constantly because of what was going on. I can’t believe I paid money for this pain and agony but here we are.

Laia grew so much since the previous book. With each book there’s more depth to her personality. She still has her doubts and worries but she persists in any way she can. You can truly see how much she cares about her people and how much she’s willing to sacrifice and put up with for them. I mostly love that there are people to help ground her. Elias broke my heart in so many ways. I won’t say too much because I would hate to spoil this for anyone planning on reading it but I just really want him to be happy after all of this. I didn’t think I would eventually love Helene but it happened. At first I couldn’t understand her but with time it became clear. She’s so fierce and strong and has her vulnerable moments too. I was rooting for her so much by the end of the book. The side characters were also intriguing. My mind is still buzzing with thoughts and I’m really looking forward to the last book. I can’t even begin to think how this ends.

“Curse this world for what it does to the mothers, for what it does to the daughters. Curse it for making us strong through loss and pain, our hearts torn from our chests again and again. Curse it for forcing us to endure.”

Now for the plot twists. We had so many in this book! I took breaks several times just so I could grasp what was going on. If you’ve read the book then you know what I’m talking about. I love how Sabaa Tahir keeps finding new ways to shock me and keep me interested. There’s still a lot of pain involved of course. All that happened towards the end really shattered me. That battle was really something and I’m just hoping and praying that the last book brings hope back.

About the Author

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


Have you read A Reaper at the Gates?

9 thoughts on “Book Review | A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3) by Sabaa Tahir

  1. I’m currently re-reading this book, as book 4 comes out tomorrow, it’s been a while since I last read it and I’m in need of a refresher.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m happy you loved it! i did as well! I cannot wait for the conclusion to come soon!
    Great review!


    Liked by 1 person

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