Fantasy, High Fantasy
An Ember in the Ashes, Book # 3
June 12th 2018
December 21, 2020 January 6, 2021
Finishing The Series, Library Love, The Backlist Reader, Virtual Mount TBR
Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. Yet danger lurks on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power—regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows that the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. During the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help 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. However, in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender—even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
About the book
A Reaper at the Gates is the third volume in the series that began with An Ember in the Ashes and continued with A Torch Against the Night. In this third and penultimate book we find a world at war, with a crazy emperor and with a Commandant even crazier than him.
To hold the reins of the empire is Helene, now a Blood Shrike, right arm of Emperor Markus, who tries in every way to stop the Commandant’s intrigues as well as the invasion of barbarians from all sides. The order to find and kill Elias has been forgotten and she is now facing an even more powerful enemy.
Meanwhile Elias gets lost in the role of Souls Catcher and will his love for Laia be his undoing? And Laia? Will she be able to understand where her powers come from and help the Resistance against the empire?
What I think
As you can see I gave 4 stars. Unfortunately what happened in the second book is too big to allow me to love the continuation. Or rather, there is always a reference to that fact that impede my enjoyment so I can’t give 5 stars. But don’t get me wrong! I love this story, the storytelling, the created world and I love Helene even if I have to say she is a bit late in some places. I like the intrigues in the empire, I liked the fact that there is an invasion and also Elias although, I don’t know, sometimes I wanted to bludgeon him.
This third volume is a bit on the depressed side, nothing good happens to Elias, Laia or Helene until the end and it is full of negativity, but honestly I liked this a lot. Although there must be something to entice the reader to move on. Here, in my case, it was the action that kept me going becouse as I said nothing good happens to my favourite characters… Despite this I devoured the book (more or less, I do have a life) because I wanted to know the end. And I must say that the end (although there is still another book) did not disappoint me at all.
I’m not going to dwell on the characters since I’ve already talked about them in the first two reviews, but I want to spend some time talking about Marcus. Because I have to say that despite him being a crazy maniac, I liked him a lot as an ambiguous character. His path makes sense especially at the end and despite what he did to Helene and her sister, I still find him a well-built character. In this book we understand more about his relationship with his twin and I find what happens to him right.
I still hate the Commandant but I think that in the end she is the real antagonist of the story. I like how she is always one step ahead of Helene even though at the same time I don’t like that Helene is always one step behind. Because although the book started with Laia as the protagonist, what she does in the second book pretty much made her unpleasant to me to the point that I had to focus on another character to move forward and this character is Helene so I want her to win something eventually.
The style didn’t change (and thank goodness for that) abd the only flaw I find in these books is that the magic isn’t very well explained… I mean, we are in the third book and we still don’t know where Laia’s magic comes from. We know next to nothing about the jins other than that they were trapped by the Scolar, but we don’t have a history of these jins yet. I don’t know maybe I missed it but why did the Scolar imprison them? What have they done wrong? Was it only for greed? (seing the ending).
But above all I would like to know where Laia’s powers come from. Yes that’s the priority.
I will definitely read the last one, in fact I have already booked it in the library (I have to wait 10 weeks!! but I understand, it has just come out and many want to read it), so see you soon with the review of the last book, hoping that the story ends well (I doubt it).
I have a question. But are we sure this book is for young adults and not new adults? I understand young adults around the age of 20 but it seems a little too much for young adults close to middle grade.