Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: An Ember in the Ashes, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
An Ember in the Ashes, the first book in this series, was one of my favorite books of 2015, and the sequel, A Torch Against the Night, was just as fantastic. I reserved A Reaper at the Gates at my local library as soon as I knew of its existence, and it’s been sitting in my library stack for a while. As soon as I was finished with Let Me Tell You, I dove into this book, and honestly… My emotions are still roiling, and I finished it on Friday. I needed the whole weekend to process my feelings, and I’m so sad that I have to wait until 2019 for the sequel. This book was the best yet in the quartet, but it was also the most heartwrenching and emotional. I think I’m going to be scarred for life over this book, but that being said, it is easily one of my favorite books of 2018. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, for my readers that haven’t read it yet, so I’ll do my best to sum it all up without giving it away.
A Reaper at the Gates picks up where A Torch Against the Night left off. The threat of war looms large over The Empire. Helene Aquilla, The Blood Shrike, is facing unrest inside of The Empire and out. Things are even more perilous when she realizes that her sister’s life—and the lives of every citizen in The Empire—hangs in the balance. In the far east, Laia of Serra hunts for a way to stop the even bigger threat of The Nightbringer, but in the process, she faces unexpected threats and is drawn into a battle that she never even imagined she would fight. Elias is stuck in the land that dwells between the living and death, having given his freedom away to take on the mantle of Soul Catcher. But in so doing, the ancient power that he has pledged to serve will stop at nothing to ensure his devotion, even at the cost of his own humanity.
This book: It was beautiful, emotional, heartbreaking, and even three days later, I’m still shell-shocked. The pacing was breakneck, moving between Laia, Elias, Helene, and occasionally The Nightbringer, and this book grabbed me by the throat from the first line. I was captivated by Tahir’s gorgeous, beautiful prose, and as the book progressed, I was laughing, crying, or screaming. I also really loved the intense, realistic character development, especially the three main characters, Marcus, and The Commandant. Rife with romance, action, and more than a fair share of heartbreak, I was absolutely enchanted by this book. Full of twists that had me gasping in shock, I was enthralled, often against my will; there were times when I had to put the book down, because my heart couldn’t take it. I cried multiple times reading this book, and I spent most of the weekend crying over it, too. And that ending! It. Was. The Worst. I’m still reeling from it. I need the last book! Right now, or I’m gonna die! This book was the most exquisite torture, and I really enjoyed all of all the loose ends that it tied up. Is it April of next year yet? I’m dying! The bottom line: The third book in the bestselling Ember in the Ashes series, I loved A Reaper at the Gates, even while it shattered my soul and stomped my heart into tiny, broken pieces! Next on deck: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland!