So much happens in this title, and you really start to realize what the whole series is about. After reading this, the first two simply feel like a long set up for when the series really picks up. An Ember in the Ashes introduced us to a cruel and corrupt world ruled by the Martials, A Torch Against the Night then shows us the more spiritual and mystical part of Sabaa Tahirs world, but A Reaper At the Gates finally gives us the fear of the pieces to finally reveal to us what the series is all about. I have to admit, I wasnt expecting the series to go in the direction it did. When I read AEITA I thought it was going to be a simpler story of a revolution against a corrupt Empire under the leadership of Laia and the help of Elias, but then ATATN fame out and took a much different path than what I expected. The magic and the mysticism became much more prominent, and for some reason, it made me start to like the series a little less. Id say that ARATG changes that and makes me fall in love with these books all over again. One thing thats stayed constant is the fact that I think the Commandant is easily one of the top villains Ive read or watched in my life, somehow she gets worse and worse in each book. Sabaa Tahir writes a world in such a beautiful way and does such a great job of creating complex and interesting characters, and Id feel her writing has matured so well as the series has gone on. It somehow has gotten even more serious and dark, but I can tell its gotten better from when the 1st book came out. Its a shame that more people wont read this series because its YA/Teen, but seriously, its a great series despite that, and it doesnt even read like a teen book; the only thing that makes it fall under the category is the fact that the main characters are teenagers. Overall, what an amazing book, I was until 5 am to finish it, now I seriously cant wait for the next title to release!
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger as the Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, Laia of Serra, and Elias Veturius all face increasing dangers.