Parents' Guide to

A ​Sky Beyond the Storm: An Ember in the Ashes, Book 4

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Epic, emotional, violent finale to a fabulous series.

Book Sabaa Tahir Fantasy 2020
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Tahir deserves a virtual standing ovation for the emotionally resonant, rich character development, and intricately plotted storyline of her series finale. This is how you end an an epic book saga. The story is simultaneously a page-turner and also a book readers will want to slow down and savor. Get the tissues ready, because there are heartbreaking moments that will make fans want to take a break, even if those plot points are necessary to the end goal. The core three protagonists -- Laia, Elias, and Helene -- each grow and fulfill their promises to themselves and one another. Harper plays a pivotal role in both his love for Helene and his admiration for his half-brother Elias. These characters are precious, and they've persevered even after the world literally falls apart around them and death is imminent.

It's difficult to summarize how well this culminating novel works without spilling major spoilers. Tahir ups her world-building game as she continues to delve and develop the supernatural elements of the series. Whereas the first two books are memorable for their description of the political intrigue of the empire, the final two books focus more on the magical and fantasy themes, tying together all of the previously introduced characters, people, and places. The end is admittedly bittersweet. It's hard to say farewell to characters after five years, but Tahir brilliantly concludes the unforgettable series that launched her writing career.

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