Oh man y’all, we’re finally here. I finally finished this series that pretty much killed me. The first time I read An Ember in the Ashes, it was because Bee (my best friend and a huge part of Avni Reads, if you’re new around here) told me I had to. This was after both Ember and Torch were out, so I read them both, and OMG I was so hooked. Then when Reaper came out, Bee and I went to Sabaa’s signing and it was amazing and fun fact! You know how one of the Jaduna in Sky is named A’vni? Well, that’s because Sabaa liked my name! When she was signing my books, she asked me if Avni meant anything (it’s Hindi for earth and it’s derived from Sanskrit) and she made the person from Flyleaf books (my local Indie) give her an extra sticky note to write it down, so I was very excited to see a version of my name in there! Ok, but enough about that. Let’s talk about how much I loved this book instead!
A Sky Beyond the Storm 5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
First off, man was this book long! Five hundred and fifteen pages doesn’t seem like it’ll be that long and then you start reading and it takes longer than expected, but at the same time, you want the book to go on forever because it’s so good and you love it so much! Also, I’m going to warn you now, there are going to be spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book, definitely stop reading my review now!
Let’s start by talking about Helene and Laia’s friendship- I knew that they had built a bond at the end of Reaper since Laia delivered Livia’s baby and helped save Helene and kept baby Zak and Livy safe, but I don’t think I realized just how close the two of them were going to get. That’s a friendship I don’t think I ever realized I wanted, but I’m so glad I got. Helene is my favorite of that trio (Helene, Laia, and Elias), so I wanted her to get everything and be happy, and let’s be real, in the whole series, she got dealt a really shitty hand throughout, no matter what was happening, and that kept on happening in Sky (Livia getting murdered, Harper dying, her becoming Empress even though that really was never something she wanted), so at least she had friends.
The Nightbringer made me sad- he was a character who kept being betrayed and all he wanted was to take revenge on those who betrayed him. I know he was supposed to be the villain in the books, but was he really the villain or were those who made and betrayed him the real villains? The more I read, the more I hated Mauth. I know Mauth is death and isn’t supposed to have any feelings or know right from wrong or understand betrayal etc, but I feel like Mauth is the real reason the Nightbringer was who he was and he had to take some responsibility for that. Also, speaking of people taking responsibility for things, Karis became who she was because of two things 1) resistance fighters coming in and torturing her mother when she was a child and 2) other Illustrians beating up/killing the man she loved (aka Elias and Avitas Harper’s father)- she spent so much of her life taking revenge on both the scholars and those men who killed Harper (senior), but neither group ever really took responsibility for their part in making Karis into the monster that she was. Would that have changed anything? Maybe not- maybe Blackcliff also made her into more of a monster, but we’ll never know.
Elias’ transition throughout the book from Soul Catcher to Elias to Soul Catcher to Elias and all of the ping ponging back and forth was interesting and at first slightly annoying, but when I realized why it was happening and how Elias had to take over and have emotions in order for the gang to defeat the Nightbringer, it made sense that he was battling himself/the Soul Catcher as well. Mauth’s obliviousness still annoys me and it’s been a few days since I finished Sky haha
One thing I don’t understand is why at the end, it was hinted that Helene and Musa might be getting together- like I get that his wife was killed and I know that Harper was killed (and that crushed me since Helene had JUST accepted how much she loved him)- why would they get together?! Just from convenience? Shared pain? Who knows… All I know is that I don’t want this story to be over. I need more Helene and Laia and Elias in my life! Overall though, I loved this book and while I’m sad that this incredible story is over, I cannot wait to read more by Sabaa Tahir and I’m so excited to reread all 4 Ember books sometime in 2022 or 2023!