"A Reaper At The Gates" Sabaa Tahir
“Hope is stronger than fear. It is stronger than hate.” ― Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates
A Reaper At The Gates follows three main characters, Laia, The Blood Shrike, and Elias, as they race against time to stop the evil, Nightbringer. This YA fantasy novel is the third installment of the Ember In the Ashes series written by Sabaa Tahir. The book is told by the perspectives of the three main characters as they navigate the world of The Empire.
Tahir, yet again, fails to disappoint. A Reaper At The Gates doesn't skip a beat in picking up right where A Torch In The Night (the second book in the series) leaves off. The plot is phenomenal with twists and turns that the reader can't see coming. There were multiple times where I gasped while reading. There were elements of action, romance, battle strategy, friendship, family, and more.
In most fantasy series, by the third book, the world development/ world-building should be just about finished. This is so the author doesn't make anything up on the spot to make events easier or harder for the main characters. (For example, I have read a book where the author pretty much writes, "oh yea, there was this secret forest the whole time that could solve everyone's problems.") Tahir does a great job at expanding The Empire, without negatively affecting the plot.
The writing style was straightforward and direct. Tahir's descriptions and storytelling were flawless in their delivery. I was never confused, and I never had to reread sentences. There were times when her writing becomes poetic and descriptive, but it does not distract from the main point she is trying to make.
Tahir's organization of the book was well thought out. She titles each chapter from the perspective of a main character. Elias's chapters were fun to read because I thought the setting was exotic, and I loved learning more about it.
In most YA fantasy novels that I read, there is always one main character that I can't stand. I find them either annoying or poorly written, and I just can't find a way to get interested in them. That was not the case for this series. I love all of the main characters, and they all contribute to the plot in a positive way.
The theme of family and sacrifice was very prevalent in this book, more so than in the previous books. I won't go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but I enjoyed how the themes added a layer of development to each main character.
My favorite part of the book was the crazy plot twist in The Blood Shrike's chapters. I felt like each one had either a cliffhanger or a plot twist that I did not see coming.
My only complaint is that I have to wait for the next book!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Reaper At The Gates. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars for its exceptional writing, engaging plot, and lovable characters. I recommend this book to anyone that loves fantasy, YA or not. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series!