A Sky Beyond the Storm

Razorbill/Penguin/. (Ember in the Ashes: Bk. 4). Dec. 2020. 528p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780448494531.
Gr 9 Up–In this novel that picks up just months after A Reaper at the Gate leaves off, the Jinn have been freed from imprisonment and serve their one and only leader, the Nightbringer, who is waging war against the Scholars to seek vengeance for his kind. The Jinn have joined with Keris Veturia, and the war for the Empire rages on, with death and destruction to anyone who stands in her way. Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, and Laia of Serra have joined forces to try to save the Empire and protect Helene’s infant nephew and his mother, the Emperor and the Empress Regent, respectively, from assassination. All while Elias Veturius—now the Soul Catcher—grapples with his identity. He has long since forgotten who he was before taking his vow as Soul Catcher, the Banu Al-Mauth; passing the souls of the dead and protecting the waiting place are all he knows. But an encounter with Cain the Augur restores his memories of a long-forgotten life and relationships, and now he must reconcile his own humanity and his love for Laia of Serra. A new prophecy is bestowed upon the three main characters, Elias, Helene, and Laia, their fates entwined. The long-awaited final installment of Tahir’s “An Ember in the Ashes” series wraps up many previously unfulfilled plot threads, bringing joy and heartache. Tahir’s exquisite storytelling doesn’t miss a beat, and she weaves in the memories and experiences from the three previous novels—reminding readers of the characters’ complicated backstories and moments that may have been forgotten. In this diverse fantasy world, characters have various skin tones.
VERDICT This series is an epic hero’s journey, with love, adventure, and magic woven throughout. Recommended for every young adult collection.

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