Parents' Guide to

A Reaper at the Gates: An Ember in the Ashes, Book 3

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Compelling, violent installment sets up an epic final book.

Book Sabaa Tahir Fantasy 2018
A Reaper at the Gates: An Ember in the Ashes, Book 3 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Spectacular for Older Readers

This is a fantastic book. It was well-written and well-paced. I just wish there could have been more, honestly. There is plenty of violence throughout this book and it is pretty gory. There's also numerous uses of language, as CCM stated in their review. The sexual content isn't too heavy for older readers, but I wouldn't give this novel to a young teen. But an older teen (15 or 16+) would definitely get a kick out of this novel.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

It starts off slower than the first two installments, but this third book broadens the story's scope, answers several key questions, humanizes unlikable characters, and brings former rivals together. There's a lot going on in this last book before the fourth and final one. It's harder to get through -- with lots of new and returning characters, backstories, and allegiances for readers to sort, classify, and keep track of at first. But at about the halfway point, the pieces come together, and the action takes off to where it's once again difficult to stop reading. The Blood Shrike in particular steals the show in this installment. She's stuck serving the Emperor now that her beloved younger sister is Empress, and that forces her to do a few seemingly unforgivable things to Laia and Elias. But as the story unfolds, it's clear that the Blood Shrike, with the help of the clever, loyal, and steadfast Harper (who unbeknownst to Elias is his half-brother), begins to realize, like Laia, that the Nightbringer is a threat not only to the Empire but to all of humanity.

Laia continues to grow as a character -- honing her leadership skills and following her instincts now that Elias isn't by her side at every moment. Shippers will delight in one romantic scene between Laia and Elias, but otherwise Tahir keeps the two apart as they separately deal with practical and supernatural challenges. It's actually the obvious feelings between Helene and Harper that are most rewarding, since they're both bound to put duty over personal desire. Surprisingly, Elias' story is probably the least interesting this time around, but his new position as Soul Catcher in training (and his difficulty fulfilling that responsibility) plays a significant role in this installment's climactic events. Give this one time to build and it will reward you with some epic battle sequences and alliances that are sure to eventually defeat the big bad villain in the final book.

Book Details

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