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Third volume in the series of fantasy novels entitled 'The Ember Quartet.'
This one is most definitely not a jumping on point, so new readers should go to book one, 'an ember in the ashes.'
Regular readers, read on.
This volume runs for four hundred and fifty eight pages. It has five parts, and is further divided into fifty eight chapters.
As with previous volumes, it does have a fair bit of violence and some adult stuff, so it's not really for younger readers.
Picking up from where book two left off, it once again gives us Helene Laia and Elias as viewpoint characters. Each of them narrating alternating chapters in first person present tense. Although two important chapters do give someone else that duty..
Marcus is getting worse by the day. Thus Helene is struggling to hold things together. To keep her sister safe. And to deal with the actions of the commandant. And to stave off some very big threats.
Laia is looking for a way to stop the nightbringer. And has some hard choices to make.
And Elias has to struggle with the role he now has, as a result of the big choice he made. Can he and Laia ever be together again?
There's no exposition in this to remind you of what came before. So frankly I really struggled a bit to get into this one at first, and it was a while before I got used to the writing style once again, and all the characters and the situation fully came back to me.
But do stick with it. Because steadily, it does get there. it doesn't really get hold of you till gone sixty pages, and it's not a book to read fast. It really has to be savoured to get the best from it. As with book two though, it really benefits from Helene being a viewpoint character as well as the other two, because her strand of the story is a really gripping one.
This not being the last book in the series means it does have a fair bit of setting things up to do. And plot details to reveal. But unlike some middle or late series books that have to do that, none of this feels forced, and nothing ni here is a slave to the demands of the plot.
It steadily does get rather epic indeed in terms of action. It does have you wanting to know what is going to happen next. And there are a couple of moments that will really make you gasp.
Big things have happened by the end. And lots is left in the balance as well. It should be a memorable final instalment.
Stick with this because it does become a very good read, and another great entry in a great series.
Imagine a Spartan warrior class serving a corrupt Roman empire. Visualise the persecution of the Cathars, the dominant, and the overbearing bulk of the oppressor's fortresses spying on the land. Swirl in the spice of the Arabian Nights, (there are Jinn but no flying carpets, or not yet) . And there you have the feel of this story. Brutality and love, loss and poignant findings involving sisters, brothers, mothers, daughters and star crossed lovers. A scholar girl wishes to free her brother. Involvement with the Resistance leads to a choice between a man she should hate and one she trusts. A cruel woman becomes an enemy, a tortured woman comes to her aid. The men haunt her mind. All the time war comes closer. This is the third book of four and each has grown in scope, enticing enough for me to plough straight on. I seem to have caught S T up, can't wait for the fourth book and the story's conclusion.
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir is the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, which is a YA fantasy. Following on from the events of the previous book, war is rising within and beyond the Empire. As Emperor Marcus becomes increasingly unstable, seeing the ghost of his brother, his Blood Shrike, Helene, is trying to keep order, stop the war and protect what remains of her family. Scholar Laia is trying to stop the threat of the Nightbringer, and Elias’ devotion to becoming the Soul Catcher begins to wear at his humanity… I really enjoyed this! Whilst I did think it was slow to get back into the flow of things, and for me to also remember what happens beforehand, the action is soon amped up. Laia is still continuing to grow as a character, which is wonderful to see. Helene is fast becoming a favourite challenge – the things she has endured over the series in ensuring that duty comes first makes my heart ache, and I’d like her to have a happy ending. The Nightbringer perspectives were a nice change, and I just can’t hate him, no matter what he has done or will do. I find the real villain to be Keris, the Commandant, the Bitch of Blackcliff – she is on a quest for power and will not stop. The themes of motherhood and love are present throughout and I loved this so much – everyone has different experiences, but they are always there, somewhere, even if they are hidden. There are plenty of plot twists, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next book.
This, the third book in the Ember series by Sabaa Tahir. The first two must be read first. It continues in the same, brilliant format each chapter focused on one character that is brought to life with incredible writing. You not only get dialogue but the thought process they go through making it impossible not to feel empathy towards Laia and Elias. They are apart most of the story, with their own mission which is enthralling. They are always in each other’s thoughts underlying a strong bond, romance love. Gripping and brilliantly written, chapter 58 choked me. Highly recommended. I’m looking forward to reading the final book, at the same time extremely fearful for Laia. I finished the book late at night, and went straight to bed, to a restless night. Going through my mind so many scenarios but one dark ending for Laia stuck. Four things from the book buzzed in my head, a prophecy, an action, something said and someone’s thoughts. I desperately hope I have misinterpreted.
Heartbroken that I have to wait a whole year for the last book! I have devoured this series and strongly recommend to anyone looking for a captivating, epic fantasy with a gripping plot and well-developed characters (including many powerful women, too often missing from fantasy). I have just set a reminder in my diary for next April when the next book comes out...! Thank you Sabaa for sharing your story with us.
this book was great and i really loved how this book in the series was so much action packed and there was an incredible amount of twists and turns, i did not expect that there would be as much as there was.
i wasnt expecting the reveal with regards to a certain character and i was pleasantly surprised, but it was good enough to share.
My favourite book series to date! The way it is written is amazing and gives various sides of the story all in one. I have been trying to find another book similar to this, but nothing I found really compares. The style of writing is great and never jumps to conclusions or has random jumps (if that makes sense? Lol). You definitely need to read all of the books. The character development over the 3 is great and you really start to feel more for them and really get encapsulated in the book. Over all, my favourite book series. I can’t wait to read the next one at the end of this year to finish off the story!
(My first book review I’ve ever done and I have read a lot of books - that says a lot)
This is the third book in what is probably the best series I have read in years. Utterly refreshing. Both in terms of content and engaging narration style. It’s the kind of writing that makes you wonder just how on earth you can possibly go back to reading anything else now! Eagerly awaiting the fourth book.
I love love love the three perspectives. Three different and solid and strong characters who are intrinsically linked. My goodness these books are good!!! There must be a 4th one right?? I don't know what to do with myself until it's out. Gripping story telling. And I desperately want to spend my days reading the POVs of these amazing three.
I noticed that the end of the previous book wasn't as good as the first and this one continues the downward spiral. The characters are poorly portrayed and generate little interest for the reader. The plot line is equally dull and confusing. It is almost unheard of for me not to finish a book but I gave up on this one. A waste of money.