A Sky Beyond the Storm
By: Sabaa Tahir
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: High Fantasy, YA
Page Count: 400
Synopsis: Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…
The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.
At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.
Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.
And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.
The first part of this review will be spoiler free
WOW. This was the perfect resolution to one of my all time favourite series! I have always adored the Ember in the Ashes series, I think Sabaa’s world building is incredible and the characters were always so dynamic and their growth was apparent even in the first book. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, the last book really left off with so many loose ends and characters in equally terrible situations, I had very little hope that all of my favourites would make it out alive.
This book really rose to meet all of my expectations. The story was packed full of action, there was never a dull moment and I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole 400 pages. I could not put this book down, I started it in the evening (I know, rookie mistake) and I just keep reading until 1am!
Now let’s talk about the emotions I felt reading this. I am usually a crier, I cry when I watch movies, tv shows and sometimes for really moving commercials. However, I have never been a book crier, I don’t know why, but very few books have ever really brought on the tears for me. This book had me sobbing like a baby, I feel like I know all of these characters like close friends after the 3 previous books, and I just wanted to give them all a giant hug throughout this whole story.
Now to the characters themselves… much like the previous books this story really focuses on Laia, Elias and Helene. I really loved how much all three have grown and changed throughout this series, and it is really fun to see characters interact that we haven’t gotten to see much of before. Even the side characters were really nicely developed and they were the perfect support for our leading heroes. I think the fact that in book one I absolutely hated Helene, and by the end of this book she was my favourite character, speaks volumes to how skillfully Sabaa wrote her and her journey.
Overall, this is an incredible series with a really satisfying ending and I really recommend it to anyone looking for a unique high fantasy with multiple POVs and tons of adventure.
So this spoiler section won’t be too long but I need to get one thing off my chest, Helene. Why Sabaa? WHY?! poor Helene, all she ever did was try to do her best to protect the people she loved but no, her family had to be murdered, then her sister had to die, then she finally lets herself love someone and he is murdered trying to save her… REALLY?! I just wanted a happy ending for her, but it wasn’t in the cards for poor Helene.
There was however, a wonderful ending for Laia and Elias, so I guess I can forgive Sabaa just this once. I love their relationship, it is so full of love and trust and they had very little internal drama like most YA couples do. I was so happy when they got their happy ending together, though it really came in right under the wire, I spent most of the book resigning myself to the fact that Elias would be stuck as the soul catcher forever.
Overall the ending was satisfying but not in the pandering ‘everything just works out’ kind of way. All the characters ended up in a position that reflected their journeys throughout the series with Elias as a teacher, Laia as a Kehani and Helene as emperor!
Again, if you haven’t read this book yet, go out and get a copy ASAP, and then come back and let me know your thoughts down in the comments!