• Noha Badawi

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

All the thanks in the world goes to Penguin Random House International for sending a free advance reader’s copy my way! This was like Christmas coming early this year.

Two years waiting!

Two damn long years of wait, agony, overthinking and hyperventilation over the anticipation of what to come next after A Torch Against the Night. And Sabaa took her time, she took all the time to build a magnificent third installment to continue on the path of blowing up all our minds into amazement and well, oblivion.

“You asked for destruction, and destruction takes time.”

And destruction she did. Back when Sabaa first published this sneak-peek quote I got scared but trust me when I say it doesn’t even begin to cover the sheer thrill, action and excitement packed in this installment.

A Reaper at the Gates, Sabaa Tahir, Razorbill, June 12th 2018, Hardcover, ISBN: 9780448494500

SIDE NOTE: don’t continue on reading if you didn’t start the series yet, this is the third book and you might get spoiled and I wouldn’t want that to happen. You MUST pick up this series, must!

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

Deep breath everyone, it will all be okay! *in-the-hopes-of-calming-myself*

The long awaited third installment comes with many, many exciting plot developments, more world building, a raging war that terrifies whoever is on the receiving end of it. Told over four different point of views, we get the story from all our the different corners of our Empire and it’s like a whole picture coming to life.

As always, the story picks off right where it left off in A Torch Against the Night and it was like those two long years never happened, I got immediately immersed back into the world, everything that happened in the prequels just snapped back to me and the more I read the more I remembered and the whole story developed in my mind like a huge painting with different scenes happening across but the result is so painfully beautiful.

In A Reaper at the Gates, things happen. All the damn time! There’s no rest, no break, not time to take a breath, and as it should it felt exciting. The war is waging and the danger keeps growing, who said anything about calmness and rest ? Between our main characters, the story takes us from plot point to another plot point forming a map of unexpected events that keeps you well hung on the edge of your seat.

Not only the world develops and the plot explodes, our main characters grow so much, in a very obvious kind of way in this installment more than the ones before. It happened in a series of plot-twists that brought to attention what they did go through before and it came all full circle.

I absolutely loved how Laia‘s courage manifested, Elias ‘s selflessness and loyalty were a huge game players, Helene‘s ruthlessness and resilience to make things right as much as she can. Each’s human traits were bared facing peril and i fell more in love with them; if that’s even possible.

And if we’ll talk bad guys, oh well! The Nightbringer is as smug and mysterious as ever and the Commandant is still a horrible, horrifying, evil, wicked … *inserts-all-the-bad-words* bitch! I didn’t think it was even possible to loath her more, but dear god! She must die – (Sabaa, if you happen to read this I beg you, kill her in the most horrible way possible!).

Two characters went up the stage more in this installment, Harper Avitas and the emperor; Marcus. We got to know Harper a little bit more, feel for him more and I’m sure that his story is yet to unravel in the next book. With Marcus, things were confusing and what I mean by confusing is that even though we witnessed all the horrors he inflicted, all the terrible things he did, I felt a twinge of a teeny, teeny tiny bit of emotion towards him.

Starting this book i was so lost in the whirlwind of excitement of actually reading it and I kept wanting more and when it was over I couldn’t believe myself how fast it went, how fast I finished it and now comes the long wait for the next book. the circle of waiting for the sequel is never-ending. Yet to make things clear, if you still didn’t start this series or even if you gave up on it… rethink that decision ! Rethink it immediately because A Reaper at the Gates was so worth every damn minute of wait.



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