A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Razorbill on June 12, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
“Strange how monsters can reach from beyond the grave, as potent in death as they were in life.”
Sabaa Tahir has done it again. A Reaper at the Gates is the third installment in the Ember Quartet and these books continue to get better and better. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys fantasies, an adventure, heartbreak, and characters that come to life on the page.
There isn’t much to say about this book without spoiling the first two so if you haven’t read any of the Ember books, run to grab a copy for yourself. These are worth the talk surrounding them. If you have read the first two, then please continue on to the review.
An Ember in the Ashes was Tahir’s debut novel, so I can’t be sure if she’s the type of author who gives readers the happy endings we want, or if she gives the realistic and devastating endings that no one really longs for but ultimately ends up loving. As the Ember series has continued on, I definitely think she is the latter. No matter how close we get to that happy moment, a small win, any piece of victory, Tahir snatches it away and everything melts into chaos. But, first I want to talk about the development of the series.
An Ember in the Ashes was still considered fantasy, but it wasn’t the type of fantasy that had magic wrapped in every bit of it. There were pieces of magic (Helene’s powers cameoed) but it was fleeting and not talked about much. A Torch Against the Night delved straight into those pieces of information Tahir left behind and really opened the world to more than the mundane. Comparing Torch and Reaper, it’s hard to believe it’s the same series. Ember was really all about the set up of the world but Torch and Reaper dive deeper into what we didn’t see in book one and it has evolved not only the plot and world, but the characters into people who are the same yet so different.
After the events that transpired in Torch, I had little to no hope of getting anything happy in this book. My gut was right. This book absolutely shredded me to pieces. I won’t go into too much detail to keep spoilers to a minimum, but I definitely walked away from this book a little defeated. But in a good way. I’m already counting down the days to Ember #4 (Sabaa, we need information!).
One of my favorite pieces of these books is how the character go through so much change and come out of it different than how they started in the book. The world Tahir has woven is so real and fascinating. I can see the blood, sweat, and tears that she poured into this book and it was all worth it.
This series is one of my favorites and it holds as one of the best on my bookshelf. I encourage you to pick it up and read a copy, because it’s worth it.