A Reaper at the Gates (Ember Quartet, #3)
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.
Author: Sabaa Tahir
“Hope is stronger than fear. It is stronger than hate.”
At this point in the Ember series, I knew what I was getting into. I knew this book was going to grab me and not let go. And it didn't disappoint.
(Following paragraphs are spoilers for the first two books)
Elias is a Soul Catcher, Laia has to save the world, and Helene is full-on Blood Shrike. It's going down.
I'm not gonna lie, I was really hoping to finally get some Elias-Laia time in this one, but alas, it was not to be. I enjoyed the layers upon layers of magic and history that poured out of the pages, and I started to swoon for Harper on Helene's behalf. (Even though he tortured her...weird. *shrug*)
Laia did frustrate me a little bit in this book. She was constantly stressed and impatient; she wouldn't listen to anyone and she always thought she knew better. I thought that was going to come back to bite her, although she seems to have gotten out of it okay (so far). Now, waiting for book 4, I find myself super intrigued by the Commandant's past and motivations. And all I want is for Laia and Elias to become a Soul Catcher family and live happily every after. Please?
Also, I was really proud of myself for guessing the identity of the Cook way back in book 1. I'm usually not very good at seeing things like that!
I can't believe I have to wait for book 4 after BLOWING through the first 3 in only a few days. *sigh*