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A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)
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message 1: by Erika, Dream Thief (new)

Erika (livingforthebooks) | 5184 comments Mod
This discussion will be lead by Janett. The discussion leader will be here to help keep the conversation going.


message 2: by Janett (last edited Aug 01, 2018 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Hi Everyone!

Welcome to August's discussion of "A Reaper at the Gates" by Sabaa Tahir!

My name is Janett and I will be the discussion leader for this book.

Greta is our alternate discussion leader.

We hope you'll join us and become a part of this discussion group!

Reminder:
This is an OPEN DISCUSSION about book #3 so if you have not read the book there will be spoilers and such posted here so, reader BEWARE!

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the book, the characters, the storyline and all about your theories 😀

So, to officially begin our discussion let's start with a simple or maybe not so simple question:

Who is your favorite character and why?


message 3: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments My favorite is Helene, which is funny since I was NOT a fan of her in book 1. I just think her character has had the most growth. She has more on her shoulders than others, attempting to protect her family, her empire, and prevent war. Laia I felt was a bit too obsessed with the Nightbringer in this book that she was missing parts of the bigger picture. Elias just broke my heart. I still love him, but his character (purposefully) feels a bit lost in this book. While Helene faced struggles and made wrong decisions and can come off cold, she just felt so real and strong to me. She faced so much and instead of crumbling, she found a new way to keep moving on.


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Joy wrote: "My favorite is Helene, which is funny since I was NOT a fan of her in book 1. I just think her character has had the most growth. She has more on her shoulders than others, attempting to protect he..."

Hi Joy! Thanks for joining the discussion! So great to see you :)

I agree. Helene's character has grown on me too. I didn't like her much at all in book#1 but now in "ARATG" she has grown leaps and bounds.

I really liked the struggles she was forced to face with especially when it came to her love for the Empire. She's had it fairly easy for the most part being at the "top of the food chain", so to speak so now to see some of that security stripped away from her really showed the depth of her character.

I'm really excited about her development in this story and look forward to see how she deals in the next book.

And I also have to agree with your assessment of Laia. Her radar was completely focused on the Nightbringer. I mean, I can understand it to a degree. He did betray her so I think revenge right now is what's driving her and so she loses focus a lot on how to reach her goal.

And poor Elias! My heart. My heart. His was the hardest character to read :(


message 5: by Rain (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments I'm at the halfway mark and struggling to finish the book. It's dragging. All three protagonists barely got *one* major plot point.
I detest Laia and find Elias forgettable. Only reading this for Helene right now.

I don't like how the author didn't show the battle in the water and just mentioned it in broad-strokes. What a missed opportunity.


message 6: by Rain (last edited Aug 02, 2018 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments BTW, just look how cool the queen looks in this fan art by twitter user @taratjah

description


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Lord wrote: "I'm at the halfway mark and struggling to finish the book. It's dragging. All three protagonists barely got *one* major plot point.
I detest Laia and find Elias forgettable. Only reading this for Helene right now.

I don't like how the author didn't show the battle in the water and just mentioned it in broad-strokes. What a missed opportunity."


I can certainly see your POV, Lord.

From my perspective I think this book was mainly to define all of the main characters roles for the big finale.

Laia for instance is very lost in her direction at the start of this book and so we see her transition from just going out for revenge to find her calling and focus on the bigger picture at hand.

Elias' role had to be addressed. We really didn't get the full scope of what his involvement with the Waiting Place would be and what the cost of his agreement to be the Soul Catcher would ultimately require of him.

Helene's story line continues to evolve. There was much to Helene's growth in this book. I think hers did the biggest arc. There is a lot of conflict within herself that she's trying to figure out and the more she learns about her loyalties and the Empire she loves, the more she will and has been tested.

Will she keep holding to her family's motto of "Empire First or will she see that there is more to life than loyalty to her country.

There are also so many unanswered questions about the Jin, Keris, Elias' grandmother and half brother, the Nightbringer and Cain and his role in this entire mess! Why did he bring these 3 young people together to bring down the Empire? Really, what is his end game?

I hope you continue on! Trust me, the battle scenes get more graphic and bloody as the book progresses!

We look forward to your continued participation!


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Lord wrote: "BTW, just look how cool the queen looks in this fan art by twitter user @taratjah"

Love the fan art! What an awesome illustration! I think it's the best one I've seen of Helene :-)

If anyone else has fanart they want to share please post it here!


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments The characters in "Reaper" are so interesting to me. I love to hate the villains in this story and there are so many to hate.

What villain intrigues you the most and why?

Share your thoughts!


April Simoneau (bookedaroundtheworld) | 3 comments I have not cared as much as everyone else does about Helene in the past books, but in this book I finally started to care about her story. I would say that Helene and Elias were my favorite characters in this book.

The Nightbringer intrigues me the most. I love a villain who is not just "evil". He is doing all of this for a purpose, and I can understand his reasoning behind why he is doing what he is doing. I also loved the premise of how a piece of the star must be given.


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments April wrote: "I have not cared as much as everyone else does about Helene in the past books, but in this book I finally started to care about her story. I would say that Helene and Elias were my favorite charact..."

Helene has surged up the list of favorite characters for me too, April. I really didn't like her in the first book at all but to see her transformation has been great!

I think in "A Torch Against the Night" Helene had to face and personally taste a lot of the darkness that her Empire stood for. She was sheltered from that darkness much for most of her life and was rather naïve to think that the Empire was always right. She felt as the rest of the Martials -- a sense of entitlement and things were as they should be because they were Augur blessed.

In "ARATG" not only does she see the dark side of the Empire but is fighting to find that balance between her morality and her loyalty.

I think her character has become the center piece of this story and I can't wait to see where it leads!

Nightbringer - I cannot agree with you more! He is EVIL with a purpose! Can we really blame the Nightbringer for doing what he is doing? I don't know!

He is doing what he needs to do for his people... to save them! But he is also trying to destroy everyone else. I think he is in a lot of pain and probably has lived with much guilt for being young and foolish when his people were tricked into this prison.

And yes! The star! It still makes my head spin to think that there were conditions for the Nightbringer to obtain the pieces and how calculating he was in doing so!


message 12: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments April wrote: "I have not cared as much as everyone else does about Helene in the past books, but in this book I finally started to care about her story. I would say that Helene and Elias were my favorite charact..."

Helene was probably my least favorite character in the first book. I think that's why I liked her so much in this one. She has grown the most out of all of them. She was close minded and annoying in the first book. She was so dead set on the Martials and the Empire being the ONLY right way to rule.

The "augur blessed" point is interesting now that we know more about who the augurs really are. Did they really bless the Martials, or doom them? And why the Martials while letting the scholars be enslaved and murdered?

I actually think Keris intrigues me the most. Her character is so evil and seemingly without a purpose, but we have seen more from her? Like when she left Elias, and learning she really loved Elias's father. Her revenge on those who killed him. I think there is more drive to her evilness than we realize yet.

I definitely felt compassion for the Nightbringer and the Jinn after this book. Knowing what happened to them, you can't really blame them for being angry or wanting revenge.

The star pieces-I think that will play a bigger role in the final book. He had to give a piece of himself to obtain those pieces of star. He had to actually love Laia to obtain her piece. How will that play out now that the Jinn are free? Will he feel a need to protect her? What about Helene, since it was her mask (which literally was a piece of her)?

I am so ready for that final book! I have so many questions! I hope it can live up to my wants, though.


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Joy wrote: "The "augur blessed" point is interesting now that we know more about who the augurs really are. Did they really bless the Martials, or doom them? And why the Martials while letting the scholars be enslaved and murdered? "

That's an interesting point, Joy. Since we now know the true identity of the Augurs, why would they show preference to the Martials? It really is confusing when you think about it.

Maybe by choosing Elias, Helene and Laia they were hoping to regain a balance in the system they upset by enslaving the Jinn. Perhaps each one (Elias, Helene and Laia) holds a part of the key? I don't know.

The star pieces - I had forgotten that the Nightbringer is now connected to each person he has taken a piece of the star from. He can't cause them any harm, right? But he swears he's going to crush Laia's heart. So, does that mean he will suffer as well if he goes through with his threat?

Keris - I don't know what to think except that I hate her! But, she has this side to her that Sabaa has hidden so well from everyone including us!

Apparently she wasn't always evil. So, what got her to this point where all she can feel is hate and have this insatiable thirst to kill and hurt others?


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments There were so many interesting story lines that were developed in "Reaper".

Whose story are you most interested in?

I think for me, Keris and Elias are the two I really want to know about.

*I want to know WHY Keris has become such an evil witch.

* I want to know WHY was Elias chosen to be the next Soul Catcher and WILL it be possible for him to break his connection the Waiting Place?

Post your thoughts!


Umairah | Sereadipity (sereadipity) | 40 comments I agree I'm really intrigued about Keris and her story, I feel like despite her evil character there's so much we don't know about her and there's definitely a reason behind it. I'm also really interested to see what will happen to Helene, I've always liked her and considering the explosive ending to Reaper she's come a long way.


MaryGrace i didn't realize this until now, but i really want to know about Musa. he just seems like he's going to be really important in the next book. what is his actual goal. why is he involved , and why did the soul catcher think he was so important. I also think Livvia is going to be more interesting than we give her credit for. and of course i just want to see my man Avitas


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments dancingdragon wrote: "I agree I'm really intrigued about Keris and her story, I feel like despite her evil character there's so much we don't know about her and there's definitely a reason behind it. I'm also really int..."

I agree with you wholeheartedly, dancingdragon🙂!

We know Keris had a love interests and a lover in the past and bore a child who even though she abandoned, she did so in the most caring way I guess she thought she could. She fed Elias as a newborn and left him in the safety of Tribe Saif.

Whatever happened after that... I really want to know! Or perhaps, she lost her love before she found out she was pregnant with Elias which might've led her to even suffer more.

Helene - Her story I think has really taken over the series. There's so much wrapped up around Helene's character. Everything from her sister and now trying to protect her nephew who is the rightful heir to the Empire, to her growing affection for Avitas.

And speaking of Avitas... can I get a Woo Hoo! 😍

We'll get into more of the ships later but I just had to make that shout out! LOL!

Helene has come a long way and I wonder now that she's given up her mask, a part of herself, how will she cope with its loss? Will she feel like a lesser now? Will she be more cognizant that as Blood Shrike she has lost part of her power?

I've really grown to like Helene and I want only good thing for her future!


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments MaryGrace wrote: "i didn't realize this until now, but i really want to know about Musa. he just seems like he's going to be really important in the next book. what is his actual goal. why is he involved , and why d..."

Hi MaryGrace! Thanks for joining our discussion 😃!

Ooohhh.... now that is a very interesting choice!

Musa's character was quite interesting. I really couldn't figure his intent either, MaryGrace. Well, we know he's a scholar who wants Laia to take up the role of Leader but I wonder why hasn't he done so himself?

But of course, we get that big 💣 dropped on us that he's married to the princess?! Like, WHAT?!!! Why would he keep that hidden from Laia?

I don't want to use the word shady because I don't feel it's an accurate assessment but there's some crap he's definitely hiding.

I also agree that he will have a more substantial role in the next book.

Livvia - She's showing more potential as a character but she still feels on the fringes of everything. Maybe now that she's given birth to the next Emperor perhaps as you said, her role will grow in interest.

Avitas - I didn't think I had room in my heart for another hottie in this story but Sabaa hit me upside the head with this guy!

I was certain I was going to hate him forever because of what he'd done to Helene in "ATATN" but he has redeemed himself a whole lot! 😍


message 19: by Rain (last edited Aug 12, 2018 01:43AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments Lol, I'm still in the middle of this book, but I need to pause to quickly address something...

“Those dark blue eyes pin me. “You want to take down the Bitch of Blackcliff? You want to destroy her? You have to become her first. And you don’t have it in you, girl.” - Cook to The Blood Shrike

This ^ has me wearing a tinfoil hat.

My crazy theory: Helene is Keris Veturia or The Commandant from the past.

hides from the flying knives

I mean, it's not that impossible. Like Helene, Keris too was the only female student at Blackcliff during her trainee days. Helene's own journey mirrors Keris' rise to power in the Empire.

We aren't aware of the full extent of the Star's power and the Nightbringer's plans for Helene.

What if the Nightbringer is altering reality to restore the rule of the jinns?

What if Helene is a girl who grew up and became Keris, but the Nightbringer created another version of her to control Keris?

I would love it if Tahir could put this (or a similar) twist in Book 4. It's most probably nonsense, but what a crackpot twist would that be.


MaryGrace Janett wrote: "MaryGrace wrote: "i didn't realize this until now, but i really want to know about Musa. he just seems like he's going to be really important in the next book. what is his actual goal. why is he in..."

Yeah Musa is definitely suspicious, but i can't pinpoint where this is going. as for Livia, fine i don't think she's going to be thaaat exciting, but definitley has the potential to grow as a character.

As for Avitas, you just made me realize i have no idea what happened in ATATN. i don't even remember what he did lol. Timeee to read a recap


MaryGrace Lord wrote: "Lol, I'm still in the middle of this book, but I need to pause to quickly address something...

“Those dark blue eyes pin me. “You want to take down the Bitch of Blackcliff? You want to destroy her..."


omg that is a theory. i have to disagree and say i hope she does nothing like that in book 4, only because I personally hate time travel/ alternate dimensional stuff and the like. though it's totally interesting that her journey is so similar. i think maybe she serves to show what Keris could've become if things turned out differently.


message 22: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments I am not in for Helene being Keris. While they were both the only females in their class, that is where the similarities stop. First, we already know who Keris's father was, and it was not the Aquilla family. Second, Helene was in love with Elias-which with your theory, would be her own son. That is not a twist I would enjoy. Third, their physical descriptions don't really match. There would be way too many holes for this to be believable. Especially considering how prejudiced Helene was in the first book. Young Helene was not the type to fall for a Plebian.

I personally am not a fan of twists like this because it almost seems like lazy writing. I prefer twists that are in line with the story rather than changing the story. I feel time travelling would change the essence of what this story is.


message 23: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments MaryGrace wrote: "Janett wrote: "MaryGrace wrote: "i didn't realize this until now, but i really want to know about Musa. he just seems like he's going to be really important in the next book. what is his actual goa..."
Avitas was Keris's spy. He tortured Helene to get information about Elias's whereabouts in ATATN. I reread before ARATG, or I likely wouldn't remember either.

And I am with you on the theory. I personally HATE time traveling in books like this. Even in Harry Potter-which I LOVE, I get annoyed about the time turner. They can travel back in time and they give it to a child to take a bunch of classes? Really? Why not just go back in time and get rid of Tom Riddle before he becomes a problem? Time travel creates WAY too many plot holes.

Why send Young Keris back in time to eventually fight herself? Why not go back and stop the scholars from doing what they did to begin with? It's so conflicting having so much sympathy for the Jinn, now. It would be easier if they were evil, but they weren't! They were good! And now have been imprisoned for so long!

I like the direction this series is going and don't want any plot twists out of left field. I prefer twists that are shocking, but you still had hints through the story and can tell where the twist came from.


message 24: by Janett (last edited Aug 14, 2018 06:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Lord wrote: "Lol, I'm still in the middle of this book, but I need to pause to quickly address something...

“Those dark blue eyes pin me. “You want to take down the Bitch of Blackcliff? You want to destroy her..."


Hmmm... I don't know if I'm in with that theory. My main reason is that Helene was tagged as The Torch Against the Night and I don't see that fitting Keris' character whatsoever.



It could be that Keris is trying to mold Helene into becoming someone like herself - sacrifice everything for the Empire you serve and love.

But Helene doesn't seem to be the power hungry type like Keris. And while it seems Keris is trying to destroy the Empire, Helene is attempting to save it.


message 25: by Janett (last edited Aug 14, 2018 01:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Joy wrote: "I am not in for Helene being Keris. While they were both the only females in their class, that is where the similarities stop. First, we already know who Keris's father was, and it was not the Aquilla family. Second, Helene was in love with Elias-which with your theory, would be her own son. That is not a twist I would enjoy. Third, their physical descriptions don't really match. There would be way too many holes for this to be believable. Especially considering how prejudiced Helene was in the first book. Young Helene was not the type to fall for a Plebian. ..."

Those are good points, Joy. Keris' family are Veturius gens so we already know Helene's family isn't related to hers in any way... at least from what we know so far. Seriously though, we already have a pair of siblings between Elias and Avitas with Elias having no clue they are related so I don't think Sabaa would apply this story line to other characters.

Yeah, and the thought of Helene falling in love with her son would be just plain gross 🤮 Not a fan of that thought!

And I agree that Helene wouldn't allow herself to fall in love with a Pleabian in the beginning since she wore her superiority complex like a badge of honor.

Sending Helene back from the future to off herself is not the route I would like to see. Fighting the scholars would make more sense but not herself.


message 26: by Rain (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments MaryGrace wrote: "i think maybe she serves to show what Keris could've become if things turned out differently."

This makes perfect sense. Thanks for the reply.


message 27: by Rain (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments Joy wrote: "I prefer twists that are in line with the story rather than changing the story. "

In the context of the Ember Quartet, what kind of twist would that be? Could you please give an example?


message 28: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments Lord wrote: "Joy wrote: "I prefer twists that are in line with the story rather than changing the story. "

In the context of the Ember Quartet, what kind of twist would that be? Could you please give an example?"


I think in line with the twists we have had. I don't know if you have finished, so I don't want to spoil anything. Like finding out who the Augurs, specifically Cain, really are. I did NOT see it coming, but it makes sense. Or the story behind the Jinn. I think finding out in the end Keris was playing the Nightbringer to actually save the Empire would be in line. Like, she actually loves her son, but everything she did was necessary for the human race. Those I could see. Even a twist that Elias is the Nightbringers son (hence why he CAN semi-control the waiting place) would line up with the fundamentals of the story.

This is just my personal preference and what I see as fitting, others would probably think these twists would ruin the story. Hence why we all enjoy different things. I think some people would love your twist; it's more just a personal preference.


message 29: by Janett (last edited Aug 17, 2018 06:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Joy wrote: "I think finding out in the end Keris was playing the Nightbringer to actually save the Empire would be in line. Like, she actually loves her son, but everything she did was necessary for the human race. Those I could see. Even a twist that Elias is the Nightbringers son (hence why he CAN semi-control the waiting place) would line up with the fundamentals of the story."

Those would be good twists, Joy but I don't know how I'd feel about such a redemption twist for Keris. I mean, the woman is a sadist. Why is she so cruel? She like inflicting pain and I'm curious to find out why?

If it turns out she was evil to prove to the Nightbringer her loyalty just to turn around to betray him... hmm... I don't know. It'd be a hard pill to swallow because so many have suffered at her hand and she doesn't really ever show much remorse.

I would love to see her remain evil because she is evil. Redemption twists seem to spoil a character when you've been convinced to hate them! LOL!

As for Elias, I think there is definitely a twist where his grandmother is concerned. His family has some time to the Waiting Place buy WHY?


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Here's some food for thought!

As we read this series, so far a character has been tagged by the title of the book.

ELIAS: "An Ember is the Ashes"


HELENE: "A Torch Against the Night"


???"A REAPER AT THE GATES"???



Anyone has a guess at to who or what "A Reaper at the Gates" is or could be?

I seriously can't remember if this was mentioned in the book so I'm throwing it out there to see if anyone knows!

Do you remember a reference or quote that would give us a clue???

If you do please share! Post your thoughts so we can all "oooh" and "ahhh" at your awesomeness!


message 31: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Reads | 56 comments Janett wrote: "Joy wrote: "I think finding out in the end Keris was playing the Nightbringer to actually save the Empire would be in line. Like, she actually loves her son, but everything she did was necessary fo..."

That is the thing with most twists, some fans are going to love them, others will hate them. I think Tahir knows what she is doing, here. She said from book one she had the ENTIRE story already figured out, just didn't have the contract to write them all then. So I don't think this will be one of those series that goes a weird way and I am pretty sure I will be happy with ANY twist she brings.

Books tend to go in a weird direction when someone writes a book and then is later asked for more, but they didn't write the first book (or series) knowing more or with a definite direction for more in mind. Does that make sense? Like Red Queen-I feel she had a direction, but then got offered more books and didn't really know how to extend the story, so we ended up with a lot of boring filler and an anti-climactic ending.

I for some reason FEEL like the reaper is the Nightbringer, or maybe the Jinn as a whole. They played such a larger role in this book and were kind of at the gates of their prison. BUT, I do not recall it so specifically lined out as it was in the last two books.

I wonder who Laia is in all this? Will the last book be HER title? I don't see her as the Reaper at the Gates. It doesn't fit with her story arc thus far, but who knows.


MaryGrace Joy wrote: "Janett wrote: "Joy wrote: "I think finding out in the end Keris was playing the Nightbringer to actually save the Empire would be in line. Like, she actually loves her son, but everything she did w..."

Janett wrote: "Here's some food for thought!

As we read this series, so far a character has been tagged by the title of the book.

ELIAS: "An Ember is the Ashes"
HELENE: "A Torch Against the Night"
???"A REAPER ..."


See I thought the Reaper at the Gates was Elias again bringing the ghosts back to the Waiting Place. like i always felt like that was the "gates" but he's already an Ember in the Ashes. but Laia hasn't had a title yet... and will she be a reaper if she leads the revolution. Are the Gates Antium? idk I am not good at theories. I leave that to other people


Teresa A | 8 comments Helene's always been my favourite character. I know a lot of people didn't really like her in the first book because of her loyalty to the Empire. But that's why I liked her. I read an Ember in the Ashes when I was 14, when my mindset was a lot like hers. So I guess that made me connect with her a lot more than with the other characters. After reading A Reaper at the Gates, I love her even more. I'm proud of how much she's grown, how her love for her family and people just shine in this book. And can we just talk about how awesome blood-drenched, hammer-wielding Helene is?

Other things I liked about this book:

1) Harper x Helene. I'm a sucker for slow-burn ships.

2) Musa. Just Musa.

3) Livvy has earned my respect for dealing with Marcus' abuse so bravely. I'm glad he's finally dead.

4) Elias' storyline. I felt like it was the least thrilling POV out of the main three, but I found the jinn's story interesting.

5) I smell a power duo that consists of Laia and Helene in Book 4.

6) The Wisp is Keris' mother???

7) Cook is Laia's mother??????????

Man, this book was awesome. It's my favourite one in the series so far. Sabaa just seems to keep improving and I can't wait for her to blow my mind with the fourth book (though I'm pretty sure it'll crush my soul at the same time).


Teresa A | 8 comments MaryGrace wrote: "Joy wrote: "Janett wrote: "Joy wrote: "I think finding out in the end Keris was playing the Nightbringer to actually save the Empire would be in line. Like, she actually loves her son, but everythi..."

That's possible. Or maybe her title will be revealed in Book 4.


Teresa A | 8 comments MaryGrace wrote: "Lord wrote: "Lol, I'm still in the middle of this book, but I need to pause to quickly address something...

“Those dark blue eyes pin me. “You want to take down the Bitch of Blackcliff? You want t..."


Yes! Yes! Definitely agree. In the beginning of A Reaper at the Gates, I couldn't help but see some similarities between Keris and Helene. (She freaking ordered Mamie Rila to be tortured! And almost killed Laia!) I was really worried about Helene going down the same road as Keris, but I don't think she will. Look at how great her love for her people is, while Keris is willing to sacrifice thousands to gain power.


Teresa A | 8 comments Janett wrote: "The characters in "Reaper" are so interesting to me. I love to hate the villains in this story and there are so many to hate.

What villain intrigues you the most and why?

Share your thoughts!"


Keris. I just really really want to find out her motivation for doing all these horrible things. Her full story is yet to be revealed.


Teresa A | 8 comments April wrote: "I have not cared as much as everyone else does about Helene in the past books, but in this book I finally started to care about her story. I would say that Helene and Elias were my favorite charact..."

Yeah! I love the Nightbringer as a villain too.


Teresa A | 8 comments Lord wrote: "BTW, just look how cool the queen looks in this fan art by twitter user @taratjah

"


I hope Sabaa will repost/share this fanart on her insta account!


message 39: by Rain (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments Teresa wrote: "Lord wrote: "BTW, just look how cool the queen looks in this fan art by twitter user @taratjah

"

I hope Sabaa will repost/share this fanart on her insta account!"


Tahir retweeted this fan art on twitter. :)

https://twitter.com/sabaatahir/status...


Teresa A | 8 comments Lord wrote: "Teresa wrote: "Lord wrote: "BTW, just look how cool the queen looks in this fan art by twitter user @taratjah

"

I hope Sabaa will repost/share this fanart on her insta account!"

Tahir retweeted ..."


Thanks for telling me :D


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Teresa wrote: "After reading A Reaper at the Gates, I love her even more. I'm proud of how much she's grown, how her love for her family and people just shine in this book. And can we just talk about how awesome blood-drenched, hammer-wielding Helene is? "

Hi Teresa! Thanks for joining our discussion group!

I was one of those who didn't care for Helene at all in book one but I agree with you that her growth, especially in "Reaper" has me singing a different tune.

I love how fierce she is even when she doubts herself. And YES! That last fighting scene with her wielding her scim and drenched in blood was such an awesome visual! Sabaa did an amazing job at the descriptive. I could see it clearly as if I were watching a movie!

She has definitely shot through the roof as the number one female in this story, outshining Laia by leaps and bloody bounds !


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Teresa wrote: "Keris. I just really really want to find out her motivation for doing all these horrible things. Her full story is yet to be revealed."

Absolutely! I was re-reading portions of "Reaper" today and a couple of things stood out to me:

Kerris to Mirra:
"How little we know people until we watch them break. Until we strip them down to their smallest, weakest selves. I learned that lesson long ago, Mirra of Serra. And so I will teach you. I will lay you bare. And I don't even have to touch you to do it."

Helene to Laia:
"The Augurs mentioned something to me about the Nightbringer a few weeks ago.," I offer finally. "Before the siege on Antium. The truth of all creatures, man or jinn, lies in their name."

A spark of interest in Laia's face. "Cook told me something similar," she says. "She said that to know the Commandant's story would help destroy her and I know someone with unique skills who can help us."

So obviously Keris experienced something so awful that she was laid bare to the point of no return.

Any thoughts as to what might've happened to her? Could her anger be linked to the loss of Elias' father?

And as we try to theorize what could've happened to Keris, I think this will be a huge revelation since it is directly linked with defeating and destroying her!


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Joy wrote: "I for some reason FEEL like the reaper is the Nightbringer, or maybe the Jinn as a whole. They played such a larger role in this book and were kind of at the gates of their prison. BUT, I do not recall it so specifically lined out as it was in the last two books.


MaryGrace wrote: "See I thought the Reaper at the Gates was Elias again bringing the ghosts back to the Waiting Place. like i always felt like that was the "gates" but he's already an Ember in the Ashes. but Laia hasn't had a title yet... and will she be a reaper if she leads the revolution. Are the Gates Antium? idk I am not good at theories. I leave that to other people"

I was very intrigued by the question on the identity of the "Reaper".

At first I thought like you did, MaryGrace -- that the "Reaper" was possibly Elias but the more I thought about it, it didn't fit in with his role as Soul Catcher.

And it doesn't seem to fit Laia's character right now. And since the title is "A Reaper at the Gates", it gives the sense that the "Reaper" is already in position to attack or take action.

All of that being said, I think. you have it right, Joy!

This is what I found as I was scouring the pages of the book this morning.

These are the words from Shaeva's prophecy:

"One piece remains, and beware the Reaper at the Gates!"

There was only one person trying to find all the pieces to the star and that was the Nightbringer!

And when you combine that ominous prophecy with these words from the Nightbringer:

'Cain stiffens as he looks, as he sees in my gaze field upon field of the dead. Villages, towns, cities aflame. His people, his precious Scholars obliterated at the hands of my brethren, ground down until even their name is no longer remembered. The Mariners, the Tribes, the Martials all under the bloody, iron-fisted rule of Keris Veturia.

And his champions, those three flames in which he placed all his hopes -- Laia of Serra, Helene Aquilla, and Elias Veturius -- I smother those flames. For I have taken the Blood Shrike's soul. The Waiting Place has taken the Soul Catcher's humanity. And I will crush Laia of Serra's heart.'


GAH!!!!

There is no question!

It has to be the Nightbringer.

What're your thoughts???


message 44: by Rain (new) - rated it 1 star

Rain | 7 comments It's been over 2 months and I'm still stuck in the middle of Reaper. I have ZERO interest in reading it anymore.

I keep hearing that that there's a Battle of the Bastards-like sequence in the end, but will the misery of reading this be worth it?

Sorry, just venting.


message 45: by Janett (last edited Aug 19, 2018 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments Lord wrote: "It's been over 2 months and I'm still stuck in the middle of Reaper. I have ZERO interest in reading it anymore.

I keep hearing that that there's a Battle of the Bastards-like sequence in the end..."


I'm sorry you're not enjoying the story.

I didn't find the book slow or uninteresting but everyone is different. Like I posted earlier, "ARATG" has many interesting elements and is basically setting everything up for the final book. By the end, we know where all the pieces on the chessboard stand.

Perhaps you should consider revisiting it at a later date. It's not worth forcing yourself to read a book if you're not mentally engaged.

I do love the battle scenes at the end. Pretty intense! But that's only a small part of the whole. The characters are what drives this story and their compelling journey is what really makes me anxious for what's to come!


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments With only 8 more days left for the discussion I figure we can talk about the "ships" that are sort of docked right now or on the verge of sinking 😢

This book really tore me up. I wasn't prepared for all this gut wrenching!



So...

Who do you ship?

Is it Laia and Elias?





OR... are you a Helene ❤️ Harper shipper?




Tell us who is your favorite ship?


April Simoneau (bookedaroundtheworld) | 3 comments Laia and Elias ❤️ I have shipped them from day one. However I also really love Helen and Harper! It will be interesting to see how Laia and Elias work out with their current situation though. I wish the next book was out already!


message 48: by Janett (last edited Aug 25, 2018 09:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments April wrote: "Laia and Elias ❤️ I have shipped them from day one. However I also really love Helen and Harper! It will be interesting to see how Laia and Elias work out with their current situation though. I wis..."

Ahhhh, April! I know what you mean!

I was torn to bits about Laia and Elias because I've also shipped them hard since "Ember". I am sooo worried that my ship is going down for the count! I just don't see HOW Elias and Laia are going to get out of this awful situation! 😭😭😭

But, that last scene with Helene and Harper... GAH!!! 😭😭😭

I tell you I was an emotional WRECK because I'm so into them now too!


MaryGrace Obviously, I'm obsessed with Helene and Harper. I can't even explain why. There are three types of fictional guys I love above all. My first is the tough exterior, broken, fragile interior. The second is the really kind, gentle soft boy. And my third is harder to put into words. They are the strong and loyal, steady presence. That is Harper to me. I can't explain why I love him, considering he doesn't have his own POV and Helene doesn't even admit she feels anything for him until the end, but I just crave the thing that's brewing between these two and he's just been so loyal and smart and he just cares about her so much in such a quiet way. I guess it's just the tension that's killing me. Don't get me wrong, i loved Elias for a similar reason, he's such a good guy, and I loved that, but for some odd reason I liked Laia from her own pov but not from his pov.

I think it's a personal thing that since I've read these books so long ago, it was hard for me to remember what happened, and even though logically I know that it's painfully slow burn, getting back into the story not remembering anything and then seeing the way they felt about each other felt so insta love to me even though I know it was not. Does that make any sense? I just didn't remember what any of their interactions were before. I'll probably get into it again in the next book.


Janett (sweetwaterspice) | 6029 comments MaryGrace wrote: "Obviously, I'm obsessed with Helene and Harper. I can't even explain why. There are three types of fictional guys I love above all. My first is the tough exterior, broken, fragile interior. The second is the really kind, gentle soft boy. And my third is harder to put into words. They are the strong and loyal, steady presence. That is Harper to me..."

I do completely understand your take on where Harper fits in those categories.

I think his presence is quite palpable whenever he is in any scene. He isn't just a background figure even though he is a secondary character. You can feel him radiating through the pages, like he's this living force that's there and although quiet, he isn't.

I love his loyalty which is why I think he has won a piece of my heart. I love how he is protective of Helene all the while not taking away her power. Instead, he feeds her power and I just think that is totally hot.

And yes, he's definitely got brains which makes him even more irresistible.

Both he and Elias share these same character traits which makes me love them both as well!

While I do love what's been brewing between Harper and Helene, I think that I'd still give Laia and Elias the edge as the ship I favor. Those two have really been through a gauntlet and now with the wall of the Waiting Place erected between them, it just doesn't seem fair that they would be torn from each other in such a cruel manner.

Laia and Helene have both made a conscious choice to leave the brothers behind. Laia, because for now she's lost Elias to something much bigger than she understands. And Helene has put off love because she's got an Empire to save.

Just how this will all end? I hope in happiness for both, that's what I want!!!


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