REVIEW: A Reaper at the Gates

A Reaper at the GatesTitle: A Reaper at the Gates

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Series: An Ember in the Ashe #3

Blurb: The highly anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir’s New York Times bestselling EMBER QUARTET.

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.

Review: I love when a series starts off with a fairly simple story and then grows and grows into something more and more amazing. I really enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, but this book takes everything to the next level.

My favorite character, by far, is the Blood Shrike – also known as Helene. I love that this book goes into her point of view. Is it bad that I like her even more than our two main characters? I love her conflict – serving and emperor she hates for the country she loves. Throw in her sister being married off to said emperor and the stakes are even higher. I also did enjoy Elias’s journey here. His decisions are not easy but he has to learn what it means to now be the Soul Catcher and come into his power.

I didn’t enjoy Laia’s sections as much and I’m not sure why. Her character started to grate on me at times.

An epic fantasy needs a good villain, and while the Nightbringer is the main baddie, he’s also somewhat relatable. He is out for vengeance, trying to avenge his people. That’s why the one that you really love to hate is Keris, the Commandant. She is straight up evil and I love it. Still, you can tell that there is something else going on underneath the surface. Basically, I loved everything about this book and this series and this story world. I can’t wait for book #4 to come out, hopefully in December.

This is also the third book read for my #StartOnYourShelfathon, so yay!

GoodReads rating: 5 stars


Categories: Books I've Read

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8 replies

  1. Great review! I really cannot wait for book 4!


  2. I have this and keep putting off reading it as I’ve not read the previous ones. Might cave in and read it anyway.

  3. #StartOnYourShelfathon sounds pretty interesting. A good review and one that you really enjoyed writing, just as much as you enjoyed reading the book.

    • #StartOnYourShelfathon is sponsored by the lovely folks over at The Quiet Pond ( They inspired me to try and tackle the mountain that is my current TBR. We’ll see how it goes. I am woefully behind schedule, but even if I only make a dent in it, at least it will be some progress!


  1. Weekly Wrap-Up – 6/26/20 – Life With No Plot
  2. A quick note . . . – Life With No Plot

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