“A Reaper at the Gates” by Sabaa Tahir #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


I am glad that I finally read this book! And I’m even more happier to have a beautiful edition of it, because it is a beautiful book! An Ember in the Ashes series is one of my favorite. Ever since I read the first two books, I was looking forward to the next two books to come. I waited a bit longer until both last books were out so I am able to binge read them!

“Hope is stronger than fear. It is stronger than hate.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates

This third book follows the story from the point it was left in the Second book. Helene Acquilla is now the Blood Shrike to Emperor Marcus, a man so vicious, haunted by his past, his lost twin brother, that grows increasingly unstable and attacks the people around him, caring not even for his own Empress, his own wife. She is nothing more than an insurance for him. While she is there on his side, Blood Shrike will follow his orders. If she fails on her tasks, the Empress will pay. That being said, the Commandant takes advantage of the whole situation, and build up her own power, her own followers, the people that will do as she bids and follow her lead to death. In the midst of all this, Helene tries to find a way to hold back the darkness that threatens to swallow them all.

In the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of this world lies with the Nightbringer. Only if they manage to stop him, will they have a chance to survive. In her search for a way to bring him down, she needs to track down the Beekeeper, a key person to the task. She has no idea how to find him, but she goes to Adisa anyway. While everyone is busy with their own part of this big game, Elias Veturius is now filling the shoes of his new role as a Soul Catcher, inheriting an ancient power that allows him to pass the dead from the world of living to where they belong. That power alone is so strong that will take over his humanity in order to serve the Waiting Place.

“We are, all of us, just visitors in each other’s lives.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates

This time we get to see more of all the main characters as they all had their own point of view in the narration. The story actually starts with the Nightbringer’s point of view, which comes whenever needed to add all the facts and fill the gaps from his past, giving reason to his doings. Apart from Laia’s and Elias’s points of view, we had also the Blood Shrike’s point of view, which really added to the story. I personally enjoyed her chapters as I was able to see different aspects of her personality. The human and the defender of the Empire one, whatever makes her whole.

“Skies save me from the men in my life and all the things they think they know.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates

Laia is an incredible person, a much loveable character. She is young, but she is not the immature young girl that thinks of herself first. She has been through a lot of pain, losing almost all her family, fighting to find those that were still alive and still not giving up her purpose. To defeat the Nightbringer and bring peace and safety to her people. She is a role model to all young girls out there. She is a strong heroine that may have not been trained to battle like the Martials in Blackcliff, but she will fight till the end for what she believes. For her people.

“You are my temple. You are my priest. You are my prayer. You are my release.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates

Elias is once more my favorite character, or at least he runs together with Laia. His actions at the end of the last book gave him a place in my heart and he kept that place throughout this book as well! He had duty to Mauth and the Waiting Place, but he never forgotten his duty to his people, not only the Martials, but also the Tribesmen, the people among which he was brought up. And he manages to do both!

“I will find you, Laia. I will find a way. This is not our end.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates

I love it how Sabaa Tahir talks about her people and her heritage and makes people feel for them, feel their pain and understand them. The whole Ember Quartet is a depiction of modern society. The westerners are the ones in power, like the Martials, while the Middle East people are those suffering like the Scholars. But there is not only them, there are also the Tribesmen, that are the weak of this world, though not exactly so weak.

Tahir’s writing is mesmerizing and her characters are so real. She is one of my favorite authors.

“Strange, how silence can speak as loudly as a scream.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates


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