A Sky Beyond the Storm

A Sky Beyond the Storm

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"Laia, Elias, and Helene must risk everything to defeat their foes--both human and supernatural--and prevent the coming of an otherworldly maelstrom"--
Publisher: New York, New York :, Razorbill,, 2020.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780448494531
Characteristics: 516 pages :,map ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Roberts, Jonathan 1980-- Cartographer

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This was the perfect ending to a series that became one of my first YA fantasy loves, and remains one of my faves to this day. What this series gets so absolutely *right* is the dynamics amongst the characters. Everyone is so wonderfully fleshed out and whole, and the way that Elias, Helene, and Laia deal with the hands they're dealt and move on from the heartbreak of days past gives me shivers to think about.

sjpl_rebekah Mar 24, 2021

This was a highly anticipated read for me. I was extra patient waiting for the audiobook format to become available at my library, because I so enjoy the casting for this series. The cast did an incredible job again, so no complaints there.

I really hyped this book up in my mind after reading A Reaper at the Gates, so I was sorely disappointed when it didn’t quite deliver for me. There were several aspects of this book that I found frustrating:

- The romance between Elias and Laia just lacked that luster that it had before.
- Poor Helene. She remains my favorite character in the series, but I did not like the trajectory of her story at all.
- The origin of Laia’s magic is revealed, but the explanation felt convoluted.
- I was surprised by how little page time any of the main characters actually had together.

Despite my criticisms, I did enjoy the book and I still loved the series as a whole. Perhaps it wasn’t the conclusion I was hoping for, but I would still recommend it.

I am e m o t i o n a l. This was the perfect ending to a series that became one of my first YA fantasy loves, and remains one of my faves to this day.

The Nightbringer remains to terrorize Martials and Scholars alike, and Laia, the Blood Shrike, and the Soul Catcher are dealing with his alliance with Keris Veturia and everything that means for them. With battles looming and tensions high, the trio will be tested as new foes and old friends are raised and defeated.

What this series gets so absolutely *right* is the dynamics amongst the characters, and I think that's why I adore it so much. Sabaa loves to see us suffer, but wow, did she give back to us with this installment. Everyone is so wonderfully fleshed out and whole, and the way that Elias, Helene, and Laia deal with the hands they're dealt and move on from the heartbreak of days past gives me shivers to think about. They still suffer, but they do so so gracefully, and I just love them so much.

The balance between the focus on relationships and the focus on external happenings is what stands out to me as extraordinary with this series. I love a good battle, but I need to care about the characters to really invest when they come around, and the Ember books are excellent at striking that balance and making me care so damn much.

The pacing here was absolutely perfect. There are pretty much constant battles, with enemies shifting and alliances changing every step of the way, but it never felt like too much. In the same way, there is a lot of backstory and new developments, but those quieter moments balanced the chaos so well and it never felt like anything stalled or stagnated.

And the writing. My god the writing. The imagery is beautiful. The world-building is exquisite. We already know enough about it that not much has to be done here, but the feeling of it all is just so wonderfully drawn.

I truly have no critiques of this one. I wanted more, I guess, because I just enjoyed it so damn much. But everything that I got, including the ending, felt so perfect and satisfying and fulfilling. I'm so glad this series exists, and I will absolutely be recommending it, both in my day job and to my friends and fam.

s
sjarrell0
Jan 26, 2021

For one last time I get to review an ember book. I finished it several minutes ago and I cannot stop thinking about it. The author wrapped up everything with a knife to the heart first and then she healed it.

I am honestly saddened that I will never read about these characters anymore.

The only thing I would change about the book was the deaths of some of the beloved characters that were sacrificed for the greater good. SO heartbreaking.

I will forever cherish this story.

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"Haven’t you learned?" I say. "You don’t get to decide if you deserve my love or not. I decide that. You are worthy of my love. You are worthy of the love Mamie has for you, and the love the Blood Shrike feels. You’ve done terrible things? So have I. We were born into war, Elias. It is all we’ve known. Your mistakes only define the rest of your life if you let them. Don’t let them."

"Haven’t you learned?" I say. "You don’t get to decide if you deserve my love or not. I decide that. You are worthy of my love. You are worthy of the love Mamie has for you, and the love the Blood Shrike feels. You’ve done terrible things? So have I. We were born into war, Elias. It is all we’ve known. Your mistakes only define the rest of your life if you let them. Don’t let them."

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