A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4)
Published December 1, 2020
About A Sky Beyond the Storm
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.
Normally, I really struggle with longer books, but I pretty much tore through this one. There were so many things on my list of things I needed to see happen. Romances that needed to be faced. Villains I wanted destroyed. So many things.
I am going to do my absolute best not to give anything away in this review, since I know a lot of people are still reading or haven’t been able to start reading yet. So bear with me if I sound cryptic.
The author has pretty much already stated that there are some heartbreaks coming in the book. There are. Some of them were really tough. There were some big surprises that had me cheering, too. Lots of things unfolded in ways that weren’t quite what I expected, and often I was like wait, wow!
Ultimately, I will say that I loved getting to follow the story to its conclusion. I think one of my favorite things about the series as a whole is Laia’s evolution from the girl too afraid to do anything but run to the girl who not only learns combat from the Blood Shrike, but who’s like, “Hey the Nightbringer has an awesome weapon which I believe I will try to steal right off his back.”
I also love, love, LOVE Helene. She’s 100% my favorite character, though I did not like her at all at first. I think the fact that she is so committed to protect her family and so committed to her people– and so committed to doing what’s right, even if it doesn’t follow traditions or what people in power want her to do– made it impossible for me not to love her.
There are so many complex, amazing characters in the book, though. I loved that over and over one of the things that Laia and Elias and Helene have to do is learn the story of their enemies. Learn what makes them who they are. I thought that exploration made the story a lot deeper and changed how I felt about certain characters.
On the whole, I feel like this is one of those books that you’re either already planning to read or you haven’t followed the series this far or at all. This isn’t the book you’d want to start with, if you’re unfamiliar with the series. Definitely start with AN EMBER IN THE ASHES if you haven’t read it yet.
I think this one was worth the wait. I’m super glad it came out before the end of the year so that I had something to look forward to reading this month.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Tribes and Scholar people are oppressed by the Empire. Scholars have been enslaved for many years. Both have bronze skin and dark hair. Elias’ father was a Scholar, and he was raised in a tribe. Laia is a Scholar.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used fairly infrequently. Most swears are things like, “Skies.”
Several scenes show couples being intimate. There are enough details to let you know what’s happening. Most are descriptions of kissing and undressing, but some brief descriptions beyond that.
Elias is the Soul Catcher who serves Mauth, or death. He is responsible to help human ghosts make peace with their deaths and pass on. Mauth first created the Jinn to serve this purpose, but they’ve rebelled against him. There are other spirit creatures like efrits who have elemental abilities and ghuls that feed on grief and wights which spy for a character.
The tribes also have a spiritual leader who passes on stories. There’s a spiritual component to how the stories are kept and discovered. There is also a leader who performs burial rites for tribe members to help them pass on peacefully.
Many depictions of battle violence, some pretty graphic.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog.