This continues to be an exciting and compelling series.
With YA fantasy series, I often find myself wishing I'd waited for the series to be complete before reading, because I get so confused about what's happened in previous books, but Sabaa Tahir has done an admirable job at keeping me not-terribly-confused even as we are now three books into this series. I continue to find Helene to be by far the best thing about these books, vastly more interesting than Elias or Laia, but I mean that as a compliment to how great that character is, not as a suggestion that the rest of the book is subpar. This series has always succeeded at making me believe that the stakes are real and beloved characters are only a page away from dying horrible, violent, traumatizing deaths, so I tore through this and as soon as I finished I was chomping at the bit for book four. (Though I should note that this is a strong contender for "Fantasy World I Would Least Like to Live In." Yikes.)
This third installment went directions I didn't expect. Told from the perspective of the Blood Shrike, Laia and Elias, it was fun to piece together information as each character learned new bits. It was a nice change up from an omniscient narrator to first person narratives where only the reader had all the information (most of the time). The machinations of the Nightbringer were interesting as he started helping those it seemed he should be hindering. Did Laia change him? You'll have to find out.
In this novel the barbarians are literally at the gate and they're knocking with a battering ram. Laia and Blood Shrike are both pulled by their loyalty to their peoples while Elias has to learn to let go of loyalty in order to succeed as Soul Catcher.
My star off is for Tahir switching perspective EVERY chapter. It threw off the pacing in some places and made the individual story lines more difficult to follow.
The plot of the last two books is successfully carried out through the third installment in this series. It's very character building, as it greatly built more about the world and the characters involved. I honestly thought that this would be the final book, but the author clearly had more to tell us about the world and peoples they had created. I, for one, found this book entertaining and informative.
I really thought this would be the last book in the series, but I was wrong.
It has a good story line, but it is a little drawn out.
You know, if I didn't like the first book so much, I would not be finishing this series.
There's a lot happening but it's too much. No time is given to process anything, the characters jump around the map so frequently it's too much, and people are introduced in a room and leave it within the same page. It feels almost phony to me, flashy in a way that is meant to grab my attention but really was like a facade that I kept peering through and finding little sustenance.
I want to like this series but I really just don't. I'm hoping the final book in this series redeems it, and gives me the same anticipation I felt in the first book and at the end of book 2.
Crossing my fingers.
A strong third book to this series--it's always a little difficult to catch up when there has been so much time between the publication of the sequels, but Tahir does a great job catching the reader up and referring to events in previous books. Laia becomes even more lovable, if that's possible, and her connection with the Blood Shrike is absolutely perfect! If you loved the first two books, this third one will not disappoint!
What a great continuation to the Ember in the Ashes saga. Lots of things happening in this book as the war begins. Lots of fighting, lots of blood, lots of loss, lots of changes for all. Several things revealed and the end of the book? It made me want more. I'm so glad there is a fourth book because even though this one had a major war, I think things are going to get even worse. I can't wait until 2019!! I listened to the first two books and hardcover for book 3. I was glad I listened to the first two because then I knew how to pronounce some of the names. And the narrator does a great job.
This was a well written continuation of the stories of Laia, Elias, and Helene, but I didn't really like it. There was interesting character development for Elias, but it was sad. Laia's and Helene's storylines spiraled downward. I wanted the end to have a cliff-hanger or some hope for the future, but I was disappointed. Maybe the next book will give some positive closure for at least one of these three...
Just like the two other Ember in the Ashes books, A Reaper at the Gates was a suspenseful, thrilling, and fun adventure. All of the tension of the first two books built up into a fantastic quest with a prophecy that will change the Empire forever. The ending beautifully set up the conflict for the next novel in the series, which few authors successfully do. Do yourself a favor and read this book!
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