This book, by Sabaa Tahir, was the 4th book in the Ember in the Ashes Series. I was very excited to read this as I had waited a full year after discovering them and powering through the first three, not realising they were part of an incomplete series.
You can read my thoughts on the first three and summary of the world here.
Sort of a summary of the plot
This books begins a few months after the battle which saw the city of Antium lost, with Laia and Helene barely escaping with their lives. Elias having finally given up his humanity, sacrificing himself so that he could become master of the waiting place, the Soul Catcher, and collect the sprits the invading forces on Antium bound to their living warriors, making them stronger and invulnerable.
Helene and Laia are learning to trust each other, for the sake of the empire they are trying to rebuild. Keris Veturia has declared herself ’emperor envictus’, claiming the right to rule because of her victory over Helene and the emperor she served. Meanwhile, the Jinn have escaped their grove, after Laia was tricked out of the last piece of the star and are aiding Keris’s invasion across the empire and into neighbouring territories. With the son of the dead emperor only a baby, Helene and her sister (his mother) must try to hold the empire together in faith of their rightful emperor by birth, even if he is just a child. Meanwhile, Laia, hasn’t given up on Elias and as she searches for a way to save her people and build a better empire, she learns more about the mysterious gifts she possesses and how they could be the answer she needed.
The story jumps between Elias, Laia and Helene’s point of view. So we also follow Elias’s journey in the waiting place, which is decaying. The answer to its’ salvation doesn’t lie within the waiting place, so he is forced to venture out, where he crosses paths with Laia, on her mission to destroy the Nightbringer.
The plot follows our three main characters as they attempt to save the people they see it their duty to protect and prevent the Nightbringer from causing total destruction upon humanity.
This is a series I really enjoyed, the world behind it is rich and detailed, we have fantastic female characters and all three of our main characters go through their own personal journeys to meet their true fates. The story lines tie together in the end so perfectly it’s just •chefs kiss gesture• .
My main memories from reading this is that I cried, pretty much throughout most of the end of the book and I was left staring at my ceiling at four AM, trying to get over my book hangover with red puffy eyes so I could get to sleep.
The ending is good and gives you almost everything you’d hoped would happen for these characters, although poor Helene, that’s all I have to say.
In conclusion, this was a final instalment that did not disappoint and I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for more books by this author!
As a side note, the audible audio books are really good too- I listened to them in the run up to reading this, as I didn’t want to waste precious book reading time re-reading when I’ve got so many on the to be read pile.