“A ​Sky Beyond the Storm” by Sabaa Tahir #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


What an epic ending to a series I loved so, so much! It was clear throughout the book that Tahir’s writing has matured over the course of time and the books in between. She is still writing captivating stories that I totally adore and characters to fall in love with.

“Emifal firdaant. May death claim me first.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

Picking up just a few months after “A Reaper At The Gates” left off, the last book in the Ember Quartet is here for a grand finale. The long-imprisoned jinn are now roaming the earth, wreaking bloody havoc in every place they go through. They don’t spare villages or cities. They attack every piece of land is habited as the move on, encouraged by the Nightbringer and his vengeance. And as if that is not enough, another nightmare rises in the Empire. The Nightbringer’s ally, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress and ventures towards her bigger enemy, the Blood Shrike and any family she has left. The Commandant is determined to leave no one alive. None of her enemies, or of those that stood in her way, will keep their heads.

“I have defied him and survived him again and again. He has tried to hurt me. But I will not allow myself to be hurt. He has tried to break me but I will not be dictated to by a man so afraid to fight the jinn that he must criticise a woman to make himself feel bigger.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

But the Blood Shrike has her own allies now. Laia of Serra and Musa are on her side. All three of them have a common goal and purpose. To stop the apocalypse that threatens to hit, each one using their own powers and what seems more fitted as their own battle. The Blood Shrike needs to secure the Empire for her nephew and avenge the loss of her family, while Laia has to destroy the Nightbringer, which is a task not as easy as it sounds, for the king of the jinn is powerful and he now has an army on his side. And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life and love he left behind. Succumbing to Mauth and his duty to the dead. But can he really forget the living? No matter how true he remains to his duty, he needs to at least try and save the world he new as a human.

“I wish I could live a thousand lives so I could fall in love with you a thousand times. But if all we get is this one, and I share it with you, then I will never want for anything…”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

I knew I was not going to like some aspects of this book, some that I didn’t like in the previous books either. But it is very well known to her fans, that Sabaa Tahir likes to “kill” many characters along the way. Even knowing that, I could not not get attached to some characters that faced that fate, not only in this book but also the previous. Some of those that made it so far, only to be killed some pages before the end are the ones that really broke my heart, but I should have seen it coming!

“You got there first my love, I envy you so, for how will I endure without you?”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

It felt so good to follow all those characters through their path, seeing them evolve so much and becoming the persons, the fighters they are at this very last book in the series. Laia is the epitome of the powerful heroine, as is Helene or the Blood Shrike, if you prefer. They both want to do the best for their family and their people and they won’t stop, they won’t be afraid of anything they find in their path. They might feel fear, but fear is a good thing and they will use it to their advantage!

“Your mistakes only define the rest of your life if you let them. Don’t let them.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

One thing is for sure, we learned so much more about the past in this book. The Nightbringer’s point of view gave so much insight as to what has happened in the past, as well as what he has been through, what fired his vengeance that eventually lead to the chaos he created in the world. It was that little glimpse in his past life, in his very soul that help me understand him and his motives so much more. And while Laia was trying to find this weaknesses through his story, we already had this information. What we didn’t have was the realization Elias came to, but eventually was enough to push him take his decision and do the right thing. I really enjoyed how Mauth kept true to his self and his beliefs, and eventually was more fairer that what one could expect by a magical creature like Mauth himself.

“It was never one. It was always three. The Blood Shrike is the first. Laia of Serra, the second. And the Soul Catcher is the last. The Mother watches over them all. If one fails, they all fail. If one dies, they all die. Go back to the beginning and there, find the truth. Strive even unto your own end, else all is lost.”
― Sabaa Tahir, A ​Sky Beyond the Storm

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