I was lucky enough to receive the chance to review one of my most highly anticipated sequels this year. So first and foremost, thank you so much to Harper Collins.
Before I get into this review, it will no doubt be filled with the squeals of a fangirl, it is the review for the sequel so there may be minor spoilers for the first book. Just a heads up guys.
Sabaa Tahir has done it again. I remember reading An Ember in the Ashes last summer because the plot seemed so intriguing and it was continuously receiving so much praise. When I sat to read AEITA, I had no idea id come to love the setting, the cast of characters and the world to the point where I would count down the months till the sequel came out. Fortuately, I did not have to wait long. Unfortunately, I was petrified when I did receive an ARC because it meant that I could FINALLY read it but it also meant that once I read it, I would suffer a long wait. But guys…Little did I know, that I would come to hold ATATN against my heart whilst battering it (lovingly) because of the pain that came with reading it.
Along with my blogger friends, I sat down in my room and decided to read a couple chapters. WRONG. I finished it in a single sitting and I sat there in my anguish and thus the long wait for book 3 has begun, friends. At least you have the sequel that’s out today and this review that will end up being a mess because I’m still not stable enough to deliver coherent thoughts. I read this book, according to Goodreads on the 8th of August. Its been 4 weeks of waiting. It hurts but now you all get to live through it and hopefully enjoy it as much as me. Now, enough blabbering and lets actually get into the full review.
So we pick up around a few moments after the explosion at the end of AEITA and it starts off with Laia and Elias in the tombs trying to escape the Empire. From that moment, I knew this book was going to be action packed and there was never a dull moment. It was such a surprise when I saw the Helene got her own pov and we finally go into her brain and see things in a new light. We follow all 3 characters on their quests and I was astonished at the fact that I was excited to read about each one and the dilemmas they faced together and individually.
Because we now get to see Helene as the Blood Shrike, it was obvious that we would meet new characters such as Harper. Sabaa wrote convincing, complex characters who added even more to the story and were essential in more ways than one. Harper was a character I did not immediately take a liking to due to some situations but I have to say by the end, he was definitely a new fave. We also got to meet Mamie Rila and I was so glad because she is the one who moulded the Elias we all know and love. I found the Tribes and familial aspects so moving, especially since there’s lot of conflict happening in the backdrop. It was refreshing to see such sweet moments.
We also see a different Laia who becomes more confident but also reckless. Yes, she makes mistakes but its humane and I’m excited to see more of her in books 3 and 4 that were recently confirmed. Elias went through so much change in this sequel and even though I cried at some parts of the book, I am thoroughly excited to see him take on a different role in book 3. We also met this very interesting, otherworldly creature called the Soul Catcher. I hope you all love and come to care for her as I do.
AND CAN WE MENTION HELENE IN THIS BOOK? SHE WAS SO BADASS, DESPITE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPNED. SHE’S CERTAINLY A FAVE OF MINE BECAUSE SHE WAS SO DETERMINED AND STRONG AND CLEVER AND SHE NEEDS A HUG OKAY? Actually, she’d kill me if I tried to hug her. In case you don’t know, I was not the biggest fan of Helene in book 1. In book 2 though…
This book had such high stakes from the moment Elias and Laia left the Empire. There were more dangers, more demons and other weird creatures and mysteries being unravelled. If you’re after a fantasy book with a lot to offer, then Sabaa’s books are for you.
My overall feelings:
Okay, we will be here all day if I talk about all my feelings. You know it and I know it too. So, I’ll just say one more thing. If you enjoy a riveting, beautifully written tale of ancient creatures with fantasy elements and a huge conspiracy and a dash of corrupt leadership (looking at you Marcus), PICK THIS BOOK UP. PICK IT UP AND LOVE IT. Also, let me know how much you cry and scale your feelings from a 1 to HOW IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED? down below.
Thank you once again to the lovely folks at Harper Collins for giving me a chance to review this book and for Sabaa. I hope your US release date was great!
If you happen to live in the US, you are so lucky because today, aka 30th of August, a beautiful sequel came out to the world (technically just to you guys). You can pick it up and read it and fangirl with me and you can also preorder it if you live elsewhere like myself. The UK release date is coming up and I might do a fun post related with this series.
Thank you for reading this hella long review and I hope you enjoy yourselves!
See you on the other side of the book!