A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa TahirA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Penguin on June 12th 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 480
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“There are worse things than death,” I say. “Shall we learn about them together?”


When it comes to heart-racing action scenes, I cannot think of another YA author who does it better than Sabaa Tahir. She plunges you into the chaos almost immediately and once again, for the third book in a row, she keeps the drama and bloodshed coming until the very end.

The ONLY reason I rated this book slightly lower than An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night is that I felt like Elias’s perspective didn’t contribute as much to this installment until close to the end, and some of his chapters felt like superfluous filler. But maybe it was that Laia’s and Helene’s (sorry, the Blood Shrike’s) perspectives were just so damn good that Elias’s ghostly wanderings paled in comparison.

If you’ve been enjoying this series up until now, there’s no reason why your love shouldn’t continue on with this book. The stakes keep getting higher and the war keeps getting bigger, leading to the kind of dramatic climax we would expect from this series. The body count is high, the reveals are exciting, and I am even more desperate for the next book than I was for this one.

Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse in A Reaper at the Gates, the delightfully evil Ms Tahir chuckles maniacally at her keyboard and – you guessed it – things get a whole lot worse.

I will sing you such a story—a story that was long untold. The story of a name and its meaning. Of how that name matters more than any other single word in existence. But I must prepare myself, for such stories are dragons drawn from a deep well in a dark place. Does one summon a dragon? No. One may only invite it and hope it emerges.


I’m not going to say too much about the story in case those reading this review haven’t checked out the first two books yet. But I will say I like how the author created some more depth in a couple of the villainous characters in this book, turning them into fully-fleshed out human beings who are not just mindlessly evil (though they are still despicable). I also find the Nightbringer very interesting and I can’t wait to read more about him.

Overall, it’s a bloody, nasty book in a bloody, nasty series. It’s filled with prophecy, creepy ghosts, and jinn seeking vengeance. There’s romance, but not that much. And it seems to promise some very dark and terrible things to come. I can’t wait!

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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