So it has finally happened. The book most–if not all–of us have been waiting for has finally arrived and been out in the world for a while now. I have actually had possession of the book since a week before the release date because Penguin Teen Canada is literally the best and they hooked your girl up!
That being said, the Reaper has arrived and you guys…after two years you think you’d be ready, right? Wrong, you are not prepared.
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Pub Date: June 12th, 2018
Price: $ 25.95 CAD
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.
*Once again, Penguin CA sent me a copy out, which in no way affects my opinion, but it does make me love them even more!*
SO I AM GOING TO TRY AND BE COHERENT AND ACTUALLY REVIEW THE BOOK AND NOT JUST YELL ABOUT HOW AMAZING IT IS. HOWEVER, I MAKE NO PROMISES.
I don’t even know where to begin. Two years ago when I read An Ember in the Ashes for the first time, I had my doubts before starting it. I wasn’t sure it was going to be for me. But I bought it, didn’t go to Sabaa’s signing in Toronto (because I was stupid). Then I read it AND WAS COMPLETELY FLOORED. A few months later A Torch Against the Night was released, I bought it on release day and proceeded to gobble it up AND WAS FLOORED ONCE AGAIN.
After waiting ever so patiently for Sabaa to publish this third book, I thought I would be ready for anything she threw at me.
I thought and thought and thought….but I was NOT prepared.
I was not prepared.
What I Liked:
Laia: MY QUEEN. MY GLORY. MY EVERYTHING. MY GIRL. MIJA BELLA CHULA LINDA. I LOVE THIS GIRL TOO MUCH FOR WORDS TO DESCRIBE. Laia has been my #1 since book one, she has been everything I have ever looked for in a character. Someone who is afraid, not the greatest physical fighter, or the most cunning but she has heart and she builds courage! AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT HER GROWTH IN THIS BOOK! Laia is not perfect. She is compassionate and determined yes, but she also fears, makes mistakes (a lot of them) and is stubborn. But she fights for what she loves and she will go to any end to make the world better for her people, for the people in general, whomever they may be.
I am literally taken away with her. Thinking about her story and how far she has come from the beginning makes me want to cry. I can’t..man..I just….
Elias: THE RETURN OF ONE OF MY BOOK HUSBANDS! HOW I MISSED MY BABY SO MUCH. OH ELIAS ELIAS ELIAS. I LOVE THIS MAN TOO MUCH AND I JUST MELT AT THE THOUGHT OF HIM. He is also not perfect and he struggles a lot with his past and his upbringing. In this book he faces a lot of demons and goes through so, so, so much. I won’t spoil it for those who have not yet read Torch, but guys his “new job” turns out to be a lot more costly than I thought!
AND HIS END IN THIS BOOK, I JUST ABOUT DIED. NO, CORRECTION. I DID DIE. I AM TOTALLY DESTROYED.
Elias’ best trait is his willingness to self-sacrifice, but it leads him into so, so much trouble, one of the most prominent things I noticed in this book.
Helene: So I have some conflicting feelings towards Helene. I like her very much and she has some great qualities…I mean her passion and ability to love is astounding. But she is often blinded by the love of her people to see how atrocious she and the Martials have acted towards the rest of the world. (I have hopes that her view of her perfect people will soon change) Despite that…Wow I love Helene, even though Helene isn’t in this book (If you’ve read it, you know what I mean 😉 ) She is head strong, passionate and cunning. I feel like she has quite an impacting POV in this book with reason! I often found myself yelling at her in warning, telling her that she was headed to a trap or telling her that she had to be more open (especially towards Harper *wags eyebrows*)
Do I love her? Yes. Do I fear for her? Yes. ESPECIALLY WITH THAT ENDING OF HERS! OH MY GOD.
Harper: Quick shout out to the one person who kept his cool in literally every situation and is the softest-serious character I know. Avitas Harper. Honey, next time say her name faster!
We literally go everywhere in this book. The beautiful maps at the front and back of the book are life savers when trying to follow the characters tracks! (Plus they make the end pages all the more beautiful!) But seriously this world is brutal, bloody, magical and all in all terrifying. And Sabaa painted it perfectly. It felt so authentic and painful, but the struggles of the refugees was all too real. Especially as we witness the crisis of today’s refugees, this book is a reminder of the flight people take in hopes of finding a better life and the backlash they receive. It was so heart wrenching and yet it has hope. This world has hope no matter how dark it gets.
I lose myself every time. Sabaa is a master with words. It’s not exactly a flowery prose, but something deeper and more enticing. It literally has claws that take hold and keep your eyes on the page. There was not a thing that felt off or forced about it. It had all the right moods filtered in with the words. Tension. Suspense. Hope. Love. Heartbreak. Pride. Everything and anything it needed to make the moment just right!
AND YOU KNOW HOW I KNOW THAT SABAA IS A MASTER. I FELT FOR THE ANTAGONISTS. I ACTUALLY AND TRULY FELT BAD FOR THE BAD PEOPLE.
W H A T ? ?
Sabaa you’re better than good, you fricking amazing.
Ha! If you think this book is light, I don’t know what kind of book you read because this book is packed. The story is complex because it is in fact multiple stories woven together. Each perspective has their own battles to fight while also tangling with one another. IT HAS A PROPHECY! I love prophecies because I love trying to figure it out and y’all was I wrong!!!!! There are epic battles, moments of happiness (very few though) and scenes where I just wanted to rage and I did. I am telling you that I literally stopped to scream every two pages! Who am I kidding, I BROKE DOWN WHEN I READ WHO THE PERSPECTIVE OF CHAPTER ONE WAS FROM. I RAN AROUND MY HOUSE CRYING LIKE A FOOL. I WAS RAMBLING OFF TO MY SISTERS ABOUT PLOT THEORIES THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND.
In short, I was living my best life.
You are not ready for them.
I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS. I LITERALLY DIE WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT. BECAUSE OMG I AM DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD BUT AAAAALLLLLLLIIIIIIIIVEVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
CAN I JUST SAY GOD BLESS PGS 185 AND 317. THAT IS ALL THANK YOU.
The Final Word:
What I Disliked
NOT APPLICABLE. What is a disliked category???????
Overall, I am literally giggling like a fool. I have been ever since I finished that book. I was first left in a state of shock. I just kind of sat in my bed and felt nothing. Then I turned off the lights and everything just came flooding in at once. Every feel. Every realization. Every theory. And the knowledge that the finale is still a long ways off. I will suffer throughout the wait, but the satisfaction I feel from reading this is enough to keep me going for now.
Rating: ALL THE STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Recommend?: Wait..wait…there are people out there who haven’t read Ember? What are you doing with you lives??? READ THIS SERIES.
Let me know what you think! What did you think? Was it all you anticipated? Who are you most worried about? What are you feelings? I simply request that we refrain from spoilers in the comments for now! Feel free to DM on Twitter (@RwRendz) or Instagram (@readingwithrendz) if you want to chat!