A Reaper at the Gates
Reviews / January 25, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the third book in the Ember Quartet and here we follow Laia, Elias and Helene. To avoid spoiling, I can’t really go into much of the plot here, but in this book we’re basically following three different plotlines with different goals and motivations that slowly but surely starts to merge as the Nightbringer’s plan gets more and more revealed. I’m really conflicted when it comes to this book because I feel like there was so much potential here and so much that could have been great, but wasn’t. I really enjoyed the plot and the sub-plots in this book, but oh my what a “skim-fest” this was. There were so much stuff that wasn’t needed, so many words that were just completely unnecessary. It slowed down the story so much that nothing felt urgent even though it was repeatedly expressed in the book how little time there were until things were too late and so on. But then all those pages that just went on and on about whatever. I wanted to throw the book away so many times. On top of the slow pacing of this book, there was no surprises, no moment when…

A Torch Against the Night
Reviews / January 15, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the second book in what’s called the Ember quartet. And in this novel, we continue following Laia and Elias as they try escape Serra and the Martials that are after them. In this book we also follow Helene, who is Elias’s best friend and a Mask as she’s forced to hunt down her friend. I think this is a solid continuation of the series, however I do find that it’s a bit slow and I found myself skimming a lot to get to the action. That’s probably just a personal thing, but I like books with fast pacing and lots of action. I don’t enjoy lingering on feelings and boring stuff.  There are also quite a lot of brutality that sometimes just seems to be there for shock value rather than something necessary for the story. It’s not like I’m turned off by the brutal descriptions and all that, but it’s more like they are too shallow and happens too often for them to really mean anything. When a character gets tortured, both physically and mentally, I want to care, I want to be horrified. But when they get out of one kind of torture…

An Ember in the Ashes
Reviews / January 9, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir In, An Ember in the Ashes we follow Laia and Elias, two people with two very different lives. Laia is a Scholar, a suppressed people living under the strict ruling of the Martials. They fear for their lives every day. Elias is a Mask, a force trained to kill and torture for the Empire. When their stories align, Laia have to get into Blackcliff, the school where Masks are trained, and Elias wants out. This book was a win for me, that much I can say. I flew through it and I found myself constantly wanting to read more and it was hard to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is great with tension, of building up each chapter in a way that makes it impossible not to read the next one and the next one. And it was this tension that made me end the book feeling like it was great, that it was a clear 5/5 stars for me. And because of that feeling, I am going to give it a full score.  The relationship between Elias and Laia is instantly full of tension. He’s a Mask and she’s grown up fearing them. It makes for…