Blog Tour- A Reaper at the Gates- Reasons to Read the Ember Series


As you know I am a huge fan of Sabaa Tahir and the Ember series in general! I haven’t read A Reaper at the Gates yet but I can give you reasons why you don’t want to miss this series!

  1. Elias- Yes, I said it. This character is one of my all time favorites! He is so conflicted and bold I love him. Tahir has created such an incredible character with so much depth and feeling.
  2. The strong women! The women in this book are strong as hell! They are tough as nails especially Helene. Her story has developed so much over An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night.
  3. The Feels- Sabaa Tahir isn’t afraid to make her readers suffer. Yes, this can be painful but it also is one element of a great story. You want to feel emotions for the characters and story and you so do with these books.
  4. The Covers- aren’t they gorgeous? I love the old ones (and UK versions) so it gives you a lot to collect. You can literally have a Sabaa Tahir shelf. I love that!
  5. Each book improves upon the last. Ok, so I haven’t read the latest book yet but I just KNOW it will be an even stronger book than the prior two.

There you have it folks! Have you read any of these yet?

 

Blog Tour-Review of A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir + Giveaway

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I am so excited to be involved with the blog tour for A Torch Against the Night. Early on I fell in love with An Ember in the Ashes and Tahir’s writing. I had high expectations for this follow-up and wow…it was beyond even what I imagined.

My Review

ATATNA Torch Against the Night
By: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy 0f this book was provided by the publisher in consideration for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

My Thoughts:
It is rare indeed when a sequel is capable of being even better than the first book- and A Torch Against the Night actually succeeded in this.

This time we join Laia and Elias as they run to escape the fall-out from the last book. We get a much broader look at the world, the Empire, and how things are for people living in this land. Laia was determined as ever to do whatever it took to save her brother from his fate in Kauf Prison. This book had a lot of traveling (which if done poorly can be dreadfully dull) but it was done so beautifully with a very even pacing and just the right amount of description to give the reader a vivid vision but never veering on too much.

One of my favorite aspects of Torch was that we got a point of view from Helene- I think we all grew to love her in the first book and I loved being able to see from her view point as well as learn more of her inner thoughts and motives. She was such a complex character, pulled in so many directions I couldn’t help but have my heart break for her. To have her tasked to find the now traitor Elias and be responsible for his demise- just AHHH. What a cruel twist.

Elias was by far, once again, my favorite character. I am so intrigued with his backstory and really everything about him. His chemistry with Laia was perfect though I could always use more scenes with the two of them together (I’m a greedy reader).

All of these characters are so well developed, and all straddle what’s good and what’s not. I love that I never exactly know who to trust-this adds a level of connection to Laia since I am learning as she does. I’m as unsure as she was about who to trust, what other’s motivations are and this adds so much to the tension. Even slower paced scenes were enveloped in tension which to me, made the entire book an incredibly fast read since I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.

I was so happy also that we get to learn more about the fate of Laia’s brother. He was such a pivotal character for her story arc it was wonderful to learn a bit more about who he was as well as what happened to him after he was taken. And, I’ve not even mentioned yet how unpredictable the story-line was for me and how there were twists, turns and reveals that sort of blew my mind.

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Final Thoughts:
I felt that A Torch Against the Night was an even stronger than the first book. Tahir dove into her characters giving them further depth as well as incorporating some incredible twists and turns in the story. This was the type of sequel that totally exceeded my expectations and took the story somewhere I’d not expected. I highly recommend this series.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a finished copy of A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and an An Ember in the Ashes quote tote bag (ARV: $30.00).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:01 AM Eastern Time on August 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on September 16, 2016.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 23, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Re-Visiting An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

With A Torch Against the Night fast approaching I decided that I would reread AEITA and I’m so glad that I did! I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. I thought I’d go check out my first review- repost it here and see if I still agree! I first read Ember back in 2014 so I really needed a refresher. I’d forgotten some of the most basic of facts about the book and characters (like that they wore silver masks- OOPS. How could I have forgotten that!?)

Any little updates or tidbits will be added in orange

Revisiting my Review

An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes
By: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed from Jon from Bookish Antics then was gifted a copy from the lovely Stacee at Adventures of a Book Junkie

My Rating:
star <– I still feel the same

Summary:
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Vow your blood and body to the empire.

My Thoughts:
From the moment I saw the cover and read the summary of this book I fell in love. I made it my mission to somehow get a copy to read and thankfully a wonderful friend was nice enough to lend me theirs. Even from the first page I knew my instant attraction to this novel was going to blossom into love. Tahir’s writing was clean, crisp, descriptive and incredibly emotional. So impressed with how much emotion and feeling Tahir invokes in each word and sentence.

This book was epic in storytelling and scale. There are so many intricacies and depth to the characters and world. So many little details are thrown in and yet they don’t bog down the story-telling. I felt that it was all explained simply and with little to no info-dump. This was a pretty miraculous fete since this was a complex world. As the story unfolds you begin to see more and more about the world’s history and why things are divided by class as they are.

This novel touched on enslavement, murder, duty and honor. I really noticed how brutal this world was upon my reread. I think I mentally glossed over some things the first time. I was impressed that Tahir was able to show so many aspects of her world with just two view points, Elias and Laia. The story alternates between the point of views every chapter giving the reader a look into both sides.

The characters really drove the story for me. I felt Laia’s pain and drive to save her brother from imprisonment. Her struggle seemed real to me. I felt that her drive mixed with her guilt gave her character an appreciated depth. The level of character growth she experienced over the course of the novel had me loving her even more and cheering for her. Elias was such a complex character and I tended to enjoy his POV just a tiny bit over Laia’s. I loved both but I felt Elias’ voice to be a bit more compelling because of his immense guilt and struggles with his duty vs. what his heart wants. I still enjoyed Elias’ POV a tiny bit more but I do think I might appeicate Laia even more. This time I really could grasp the horror of what she was doing and see the bravery it took.

The world that Tahir has created was brutal and hard to read about in many sections. There are mentions of rape, abuse and all the ugly elements of what some humans are capable of. I found it disturbing, but for me, it didn’t detract from the story but helped to cement my hate for the Empire. Yep. I still felt the same- but boy some aspects are so hard to read.

So far it hasn’t been announced if there will be a sequel and if there isn’t I’ll be distraught. The book works as a standalone but it left so much unanswered that I need to read more about. I must have more from these characters and world. SO thankful there IS a sequel.

Final Thoughts:
I had really high hopes for An Ember in the Ashes and was not disappointed at all. This book is a favorite and I’ll be reading anything Sabaa Tahir writes. Hopefully, the next thing I read from her will be the sequel.

Have you read An Ember in the Ashes? If not are you planning on reading it and if you have read will you reread prior to A Torch Against the Night releasing?

#HeleneWeek: Favorite Helene Quote and Excerpt

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Today Bustle.com has revealed an excerpt from Helene’s point of view! That’s right, A Torch Against the Night has a POV from Helene. I know that while reading An Ember in the Ashes I was so curious about Helene’s thoughts and now we get to read them. You can check out the excerpt here.

I’d also like to share what I feel is one of the very best Helene quotes there is. To me, this captures so much of her struggle:

They always underestimate me.  page 84

I find her character such a strong force in these novels and I feel her dedication to her role and duty fight her heart-which is something a lot of us can understand.

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Let me know in the comments what you think of Helene and also if you’re excited to read from her POV.

Stacking the Shelves- What an Epic Week in Books

This past week all my bookish dreams came true with the help of some really amazing blogger friends and publishers. I am soooo excited by each of these books.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

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This week I was THRILLED to have the A Torch Against the Night ARC box land on my doorstep. The box contained the Torch arc plus an paperback copy of An Ember in the Ashes AND that beautiful cuff. What a great package Penguin/Razorbill made. I’m so in love with it. I’ve started to reread Ember since I first read it in 2014 and can’t remember lots of details. So far I’m just as enraptured as the first time.

The other goodies are a mix of publisher sent and from bloggy friends. I’m so excited for each of them-Gemina! Strange the Dreamer sampler (and those buttons!!)! The Graces! The Female of the Species! GAH, so excited about them all. I wish I could read faster. Have you heard of Spare and Found Parts yet? It looks FABULOUS.

Those cute little magnetic bookmarks are from Happy Hello! Art. I ADORE them and want moooore.

I have to include this picture of the Torch cuff and book. It’s one of my favorites I’ve taken recently for Instagram.

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Speaking of Instagram I’ve fallen in love with Bookstagram and have been spending a ton of time over there. I have really found a passion for bookish still life pics! haha Are you on there? If so if you would like to see my pictures you can here.

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