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Publisher's Summary

"Thrilling and hard to put down, readers will absolutely devour Tahir's latest." (BuzzFeed)

An Entertainment Weekly Summer Reads pick!

"The perfect summer read." (The Washington Post)

The highly anticipated third book in number-one New York Times best-selling author Sabaa Tahir's Ember Quartet.

Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power - regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender - even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.

©2018 Sabaa Tahir (P)2018 Listening Library

What the critics say

“The book deftly handles serious issues like the costs of genocide and war. Both action-packed and emotionally engaging, A Reaper at the Gates is the perfect summer read.” (The Washington Post)

"Tahir has created another compelling story that defies readers to stop turning the pages." (Booklist, starred review) 

"Fans of the series will not want to miss this action-packed installment." (Bookish) 

What listeners say about A Reaper at the Gates

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Thoroughly enjoyable

I have been enjoying this story line since I read the first one when it came out. The third does not disappoint! The plot moves along nicely, with twists that are surprising but not implausible. The narrstors all add to the story with their skill. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Story feels like it’s written to a metronome

Waited through book one for a hook and nothing , second book follows the first ending in mild disappointment still not overall hook to keep me engaged . Book three because I’m invested and one must follow the rules of jumanji when reading a series and halfway through the book I’ve already guessed the ending . Not sure how this ended up so high in other reviews .

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    3 out of 5 stars

unfortunate female characters

It saddens me that the evil female character in this series is so capable but the two lead female characters are so limited in thier capacity and by love. Though we all have our foibles... the smart beautiful capable women I've been blessed to know in my life are not so pitiful as these two leads. Truly, an opportunity lost.

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  • Joe
  • 2019-09-01

The narration makes this book even better

Great story, but the amazing narration really make this a wonderful book to listen to.

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Excellent Verbal Illustration

Beautifully depicted and full of heart. The voices and characters come to life in this twisted magnificent story.

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not too shabby

I of course love this series, but must say this was not my favorite from the three. the magic was slightly hard to imagine, but overall I'm curious to know how she'll end it!

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love this series

This is the continuation of a great story. nice to see the character continue to evolve. incredible narration.

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Loved it!

This book kept you on your toes the entire time! While dangling love in front of us between characters never knowing what will come. Absolutely loved it!

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awesome but leading.

I have loved the story since I started the series, but a few things just made me roll my eyes. and for the first half of the book I found myself rolling my eyes every time it was Hel's chapter.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Red Steele
  • 2018-07-04

It was okay

The performances were excellent. I enjoyed the first two books more. I was not drawn to Elias’s storyline at all. I found Laia’s and Helene’s storyline more interesting. I look forward to the final book and hope it is better.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-02

Liked the first one.

Not enough story for 3 books so they watered this one down unapologetically. you're welcome

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JVV
  • 2018-07-04

A bit all over the place

This was a step down from the previous two books. This book seems like a mixture of many storylines thrown together with no real order.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason Campbell
  • 2018-07-03

SSRI needed

I have loved this series until this book. It is one depressing chapter after another. I can’t even remember one happy moment. Even stunningly beautiful reading performance is muted by constant melancholy. Every reader needs some reason or hope to press on, abandon all hope when reading this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ella Bolton
  • 2018-06-16

Meh

The voice performances as always are stellar. While I am not a fan of Laia’s character (not in the slightest) Fiona Hardingham did a fantastic job as well as the other cast members. It is a rarity to find such a well acted audiobook with a full cast and this does not disappoint. I’d recommend binge listening to the series just on account of how entertaining the performances are.

Now the story on the other hand...

I feel it takes a very talented writer to make you love every character in a multiple P.O.V. story. For me I adored Helene’s chapters as I found they were the most mature and I found her journey of trying to navigate the politics and trying to protect her sister the most entertaining. I’m sorry but I just can’t get behind the insta love between Elias and Laia which lessens both their stories for me. Like Elias goes on and on about how he wants Laia and finds her so attractive and is putting everyone in jeopardy because he just lovvvvves Laia. Seriously? This man was raised to be a ruthless killer but this one girl is enough for him to (spoilers) give up his humanity? That brings me to Laia...oh boy. Her self pitying and just immaturity is just so incredibly annoying. Every time she whines about her not being strong enough or complains about her naivety I just find myself rolling my eyes. I don’t know Sabaa Tahir’s background but she puts a lot of emphasis on trying to convince you Laia is a strong compassionate woman who we should admire but it frankly fails and makes her come off as a childish Mary Sue. Now I don’t believe all women must be super strong stoic warriors to be badasses like Helene, but Helene is just so much more compelling than Laia and it honestly bugs me. However all the characters from this novel suffer from SEVERE naivety. It’s almost insufferable how the audience will know something as it’s so obvious but the characters will be oblivious to it.

That being said this book does offer an amazing final quarter battle that cemented my love for Helene. The secondary characters are also very entertaining (Musa was the only thing that saved Laia’s chapters for me). Tahir also creates a very well fleshed our world.

All in all I’d say this series has just been a disappointment for me personally as I expected so much more from it. I’ve waited two years in the hopes we’d have an epic no stop heart pounding novel and instead got two idiots pining over each other and characters and dense as a brick wall. I will still continue with the finale but only due to how stellar this cast is.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-06-22

Worth the wait!

I've been waiting for this book so long I started it the moment my pre-order was available....but had to stop a few chapters in to go back and listen to the first two books in the series again so I could remember all the nuances and depth of character Tahir weaves into her stories.

End result, an even better experience that has me anxiously awaiting book 4!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn
  • 2020-10-05

Tragic disappointment

The actors were incredible throughout and the only thing that made me move forward with the third book. I was riveted by the first two books, maybe that's where it should have stopped...It was extremely hard finishing this because Elias' chapter's were so redundant I began to hate him; the same inner conflict and the same complaints. And it took way too long for Laia to catch on to her abilities--slow child. Helene was the only one who kinda saved it as, even though she kept screwing up and lacked common sense, at least her story moved forward. I do not care about Laia's and Elias' love. Another review called it "insta-love" and rightfully so. Elias didn't even care that she'd been sexing up Keanan the whole time--he's a rare man! Honestly for the whole of book one I was trying to even grasp why people were attracted to this fumbling useless-child. Helene has always been more attractive of the two, and it would have been more satisfying to have Elia's yearn for her instead. Laia is one of the most ordinary characters in an extraordinary story.

Huge chunks were skipped, they just seem to appear here and appear there. One character took a month, while another took three days. And, as someone else pointed out the naivete of the main characters bordered on stupid. I was often ahead of their problem solving by a a good six feet, which was frustrating. Helene especially was pretty dense. I don't understand why Karis/Marcus don't care that Elias survived for this book. I also don't understand what makes Karis so invencible! And the whole history with the Night Bringer and the Mask--woof!

AND IF THEY ABORT THEIR MISSION ONE MORE TIME FOR SOME RANDOM CHILD!!UGH! Both Laia and Elias would give up EVERYTHING for one crying kid every other turn. They were so short-sighted! It happened all the time!! Anyway- I won't move on to the fourth because so much of this was deeply unsatisfying. No release for the characters or hope so why continue?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy Roberts Lahti
  • 2020-07-21

Terrible!

First, the actors were excellent... but everything else was terrible! It was nothing but horrible choices by the main characters and sad stories. Rinse and repeat! ZERO HOPE. It was a struggle to get to the end! I will wait for some reviews to roll in before I purchase the final book in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John Green
  • 2020-03-03

Too Many conveniently bad decisions

This book contained all of the disappointing attributes of book 2 without the interesting development of book 1. The main characters all make terrible decisions that don’t make sense but seem to work with the story the author wants to develop. Too much misery and sadness with no moments of joy and satisfaction that most readers need to push through. I didn’t enjoy this book at all, but finished it because I didn’t feel I could leave a review without finishing the book.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Brekah S.
  • 2019-12-29

Ridiculously dumb and empty ending

Wow... this is one of the worst endings to a trilogy book that I have ever read/listened. What was the point of character building just to have it all go to waste? THERE'S NO CLOSURE!! The war was just prolonged and the most insatiable need was to have Karis killes and not even that THAT didn't happened! Maybe all books don't deserve a good ending but the effort in concluding this book was just really sad.. SMH... pretty disappointing..

2 people found this helpful