An Ember in the Ashes
<–A Torch Against the Night
Title: A Reaper at the Gates
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: August 23, 2017
Date Started: July 2, 2018
Date Finished: August 4, 2018
Reading Duration: 33 days
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Young Adult (YA), Romance
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
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.
***Spoilers for all previous books in the series***
Tahir has the gift of making characters on both sides of the conflict sympathetic, even casting some compassion on Keris Veturia. Though a tortured past doesn’t excuse the horrible things one does, it often provides an explanation. It is no easy feat to do something like this, and it is one of the better attributes of ASOIAF, as well. Like Martin, Tahir not only titles her chapters by the character whose viewpoint we follow, but she adds additional ones with each volume. This is merely logistical, though; what’s more interesting is how Tahir, like GRRM, seems to subscribe (whether consciously or no) to William Faulkner’s philosophy:
The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.