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 Re-Review for A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night
By: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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

Reaper at the Gates Campaign- Re-review of An Ember in the Ashes

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I am a long time fan of Sabaa Tahir’s series. An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night are two of my very favorite books ever. Tahir’s writing is so incredibly powerful and the characters she has created are well round and so complex. I can’t wait to read Reaper at the Gates. I am so excited to be part of this campaign! I’ll be re-reviewing An Ember in the Ashes from my reread.

Review

36506218An Ember in the Ashes
By: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill

Summary:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Thoughts:

An Ember in the Ashes is a marvel because it introduces the reader to this complex world without being an info dump. We, as the reader, are thrown into the story with Laia watching as loved ones are brutally murdered in front of her and then her fleeing for her life. Tahir never lets down on the action in these books. The reader always feels how high the stakes are and each page adds to the overall sense of ‘what will happen next’ Of course this keeps you riveted to the page.

This novel touched on enslavement, murder, duty and honor. This was the third time I’ve read this book and each time I’m so astonished with the depth of world building as well as how brutal things are. I think I mentally glossed over some things the first time I read. I was so eager to see what would happen next I didn’t pay as close attention to the smaller details.  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- I have an older sister so the idea of her being held captive and not knowing if she was safe is terrifying. Because Laia left her brother and ran for safety at his bequest she is overwhelmed with guilt. The level of character growth she experienced over the course of the novel had me loving her even more and cheering for her.

Elias oh Elias. I love how complex of a character he was. I tend to enjoy his POV just a tiny bit over Laia’s. I find him a tiny bit more compelling because of his immense guilt and struggles with his duty vs. what his heart wants.  Though each time I read I do fall more and more in love with both characters. Laia is so brave and bold.  And honestly the mix of these two characters is incredible.

Helene, Elias’ oldest friend is a bit harder for me to love just because at times she allows duty to overshadow what is the right thing to do. I appreciate her dedication to Elias and each time I read I find more to appreciate about her and how well Tahir has written her character.

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.

Final Thoughts:

Now is the perfect time to pick up these books for the first time or again if you’ve read them! With the third book’s fast approaching pub date it is a great idea to reread and I have grown to really love the new covers. I was a bit iffy on them at first due to it being a change and change is hard. Having them on my shelves though I really love them (if only I could get them in hardcover!)

If you’ve read An Ember in the Ashes– who is your favorite character?

Campaign Schedule

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

WEEK ONE

April 30 – PageTravels – Creative Bookstagram Picture

May 1My Friends are Fiction – Review

May 2YA Books Central – Graphic Pictures

May 3Star-crossed Book Blog – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

May 4ButterMyBooks – Review

May 5Icey Books – Creative Instagram Picture 

WEEK TWO

May 7PaperTrailYa – Reasons to Start Reading The Series

May 8The Book Feels – Review + Creative Cover Instagram

May 9A Perfection Called Books – Reasons to Start Reading The Series

May 10ABibliophilesbkm – Creative Instagram Picture + Observations Blog Post

May 11The Young Folks – Reasons to start reading the series with GIFS

May 12@DarkFaerieTales – Creative Instagram Picture

 

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT

WEEK ONE

May 14PageTravels – Creative Bookstagram Picture

May 15My Friends are Fiction – Review

May 16YA Books Central – Graphic Pictures

May 17Star-crossed Book Blog – Favorite Moments In The Series + Hopes For Book 3

May 18ButterMyBooks – Helene Aesthetic

May 19Icey Books – Creative Instagram Picture 

WEEK TWO

May 21PaperTrailYa – Theories About Book Three

May 22The Book Feels – Review + Creative Cover Instagram

May 23A Perfection Called Books – Helene Appreciation Post 

May 24ABibliophilesbkm – The character’s choices, consequences, and expectations

May 25The Young Folks – Author Interview

May 26@DarkFaerieTales – Creative Instagram Picture 

WEEK THREE

May 28Fiction Fare – Reasons Why You Should Be Reading The Series

May 29Book Is Glee – Creative Instagram Post

May 30That’s Normal – Catch Up + Book Three Predictions + Fan Art

May 31Bibliophile Gathering – Favorite Moments From Book 2

June 1The Fandom – Fan Casting

June 2The Eater of Books! – 100 Thoughts I had While Reading Book Two 

 

A REAPER AT THE GATES

WEEK ONE

June 4PageTravels – Creative Bookstagram Picture

June 5My Friends are Fiction – Reasons to Read the Series

June 6YA Books Central – Graphic Pictures

June 7Star-crossed Book Blog – Elias Appreciation Post 

June 8ButterMyBooks – What to do after reading the book

June 9Icey Books – Creative Instagram Picture 

WEEK TWO

June 11PaperTrailYa – Theories About Book Three

June 12The Book Feels – Review + Creative Cover Instagram

June 13A Perfection Called Books – How our lives will never be the same

June 14ABibliophilesbkm – Creative Instagram Post + Character’s Playlist

June 15The Young Folks – What to read after you’ve finished REAPER AT THE GATES

June 16@DarkFaerieTales – Creative Instagram Picture

WEEK THREE

June 18Fiction Fare – Books To Tide You Over While You Wait For The Next Book

June 19Book Is Glee – Creative Instagram Post

June 20That’s Normal – Review + What To Read Next

June 21Bibliophile Gathering –  Favorite Character Appreciation Post

June 22The Fandom – 5 Most Important Moments in the series so far

June 23The Eater of Books! – Top Ten Reasons to Stan Laia

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

TorchBanner

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.

TorchIG

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?