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.
My rating: ★★★★★
This book had all the moments we have been building up to for the last 3 installments. I can say that Sabaa Tahir did an even better job at delivering these intense moments throughout each release, as you can certainly see her writing and plotting improve as time has gone on. I really loved the dark, gritty atmosphere this book had – although that’s one of my favourite things about the series overall, this one was definitely the darkest and most intense? I loved the pacing of this book – there was a perfect mixture between the scenes taking place over minutes and over weeks.
In terms of the story itself, I can’t quite believe how much was packed into this book in just over 500 pages. There was not one moment where I was bored – every 50 pages our characters would either have developed themselves/their relationships or they would be in a different location, or about to start another battle. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!
I absolutely LOVED the ending. I sobbed my heart out and despite reading the last 100 pages in tears, I was very very satisfied with the ending and what happened to our protagonists and antagonists. I thought it was a brilliant way to end the series.
I’m a very character driven reader, and despite the Ember series having such a strong plot, it’s the characters that make this one of my all time favourite series. The character development across all four books has been exceptional for Laia, Elias and Helene. Laia has developed from a timid, determined girl to an incredibly brave, selfless young woman. Elias I think developed in a different way – his goal at the beginning of Ember to escape and create a new life for himself certainly came to fruition, but he had to deal with so many bumps in the road. Watching his internal struggle between his old and new self was really interesting to read about. As for Helene, she shows the most outstanding character development out of all three. I didn’t like her much in the first book because she represented what was wrong about the Martial institution, but she is just like a whole new person by the end of it. I loved seeing her POV in the last few books and I feel like in this one, she really came into her own. I admire her drive so much and her relationship development with Harper was a big help in that.
I have been here for the relationship between Laia and Elias since book 1, and if you’re the same, you know we have gone through a LOT with these two. The angst in this book was off the charts. Knowing that they both love each other but can’t do anything about it, plus Elias struggling with his role as the Soul Catcher, ugh it was too much to handle. I love that throughout it all they still had that love for each other as well as the banter that made me love them so much in the first place.
I love that we got to see the Nightbringer’s perspective in this book and how it all tied in with the ending. I think this made such a big difference by the end of the book – I wouldn’t have liked the ending as much if I didn’t understand the antagonist through what I’d learned about him as the book went on. Sabaa Tahir’s writing was outstanding (as usual), in a genre full of similar concepts she always has (and probably always will) stick out to me as one of the best authors out there. Her world building in this book added to what we already knew, and the plot was so brilliantly written I feel like there wasn’t a word that needed to be added or taken away.
I also love how Tahir wove prophecies and messages in all the way back from book 1 into this last book. It shows how meticulously this story was planned and I appreciate them all the more for it.
Overall, I feel like there just aren’t enough words to describe how much I adore this series. I am so, so sad it’s now over, but I know I will be rereading this constantly. These characters hold such a dear place in my heart and I know I will just adore them more and more as time goes on.
You are broken. But it is the broken things that are the sharpest. The deadliest. It is the broken things that are the most unexpected, and the most underestimated.
Is this book on your TBR? Are you hoping to read the rest of the series before you pick this up? Let’s chat in the comments below!