Brutal, Real and Brilliant // REVIEW: A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: September 5th 2018
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 3/4 of the Ember Quartet
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books || Infibeam
Blurb Description: 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. 


“I’m vexed.” ~ Helene Aquilla, Blood Shrike to the Empire

These two words just about perfectly sum up my feelings about the brilliant, twist-filled marvel that was Sabaa Tahir’s A Reaper at the Gates. So much happened through these 400+ pages and despite the face that I finished it hours ago, I’m still reeling from it all AND I AM HONESTLY, VEXED.

How could you do that, Sabaa?

A Reaper at the Gates simultaneously broke me heart, surprised me, gave me hope, took it away and, like I said before, LEFT ME VEXED.  


1.       I ABSOLUTELY LOVED that we got to see Helene’s, Laia’s and Elias’ view points again, with the added addition of OPENING AND CLOSING WITH THE NIGHTBRINGER? I actually dropped the book in surprise when I saw the first chapter starting with his name. It was SUCH A BRILLIANT EDITION to Reaper and I honestly loved it.

2.       We should just give Sabaa Tahir the official title of, “Making readers fall in love with characters and then breaking them (both) slowly.” Yes, I realise it’s not a very effective title but IT APPLIES, OKAY? Laia, Helene and Elias had such HEART-BREAKING personal journeys through the book, but especially Helene and Elias.

3.       A Reaper at the Gates made me, for the first time in the series, truly appreciate Keris Vetruia’s cunning and determination. Her political machinations (and Sabaa Tahir’s, by extension) were brilliant and were such a great addition to the plot.

4.       I should probably also mention that after reading three pages of the Nightbringer’s viewpoint, I promptly felt bad for him and ALSO THOUGHT HE WAS JUSTIFIED through the book, which should say a lot about my morals but I CAN’T HELP IT, OKAY? I loved learning his story and about his past – it was probably my favourite aspect of the book.


6.       Oh, the ending. The prophecy. The sacrifices. The magic. A Reaper at the Gates was all kinds of perfect, and I absolutely loved it. SOMEONE GIVE ME BOOK FOUR NOW.


Sabaa Tahir is a GENIUS PLOTTER and her characters have so much DEPTH. This world is brutal, real, brilliant and if you’re a fantasy fan, DIVE IN NOW! 

Sabaa Tahir

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 Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes series?
Who are your favourite characters?
Which book so far has been your favourite?
I'd love to hear from you.

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