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 was caught off guard by this book – TOO OFF GUARD. In all expectations and predictions I have, Sabaa Tahir’s books are the ones were difficult to make assumptions. After reading An Ember in the Ashes where Tahir manipulated my feelings and A Torch Against the Night where she betrayed me. Here she is, betraying, controlling, and manipulating our feelings again with her third book.
I’ve never felt so much pain in a book that I just wanted to hug the characters. It inflicted so much lies, lies, lies, and all the lies. I hated it when a character is so close-minded. Like Laia who I wanted to dislike but couldn’t. Because for all we know, she’s only being selfless and courageous. While Helene – our Blood Shrike stands to fight the politics within this book while protecting the Empire and her vow, it hurts me so much knowing what she went through and has to go through on A Reaper at the Gates. It felt like everything is inevitable.
With so many revelations, I don’t know what will happen next. Sabaa Tahir wouldn’t give us what the future will hold or what should we expect us in the next book instead she is always giving us the mystery, the unexpected, and the impact that we don’t know that is always there when it comes on reading her book.
For everyone who is planning to dive into this book right away, prepare your heart. You will mourn with Helene. You will mourn for Laia. Might as well mourn with Elias too. Sabaa Tahir knows how to make a reader happy and sad on the same chapter. She doesn’t let happiness last longer than we could savor it.
A Reaper at the Gates is truly a brilliant, magnificent book that will drive you mad and crazy. I shouted at this book more than I know. I had so much burst and I don’t know if its a good thing. Is it a good thing? Maybe. But what I know right now is that I WANT THE NEXT BOOK.
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.