Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cover Talk: A REAPER AT THE GATES by Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir's book An Ember in the Ashes took the entire world by storm. Well, at least my world, anyways. And probably many of my other fantasy loving brethren book lovers. Which is why I'm jumping here to tell you about the title and cover reveal of the third book to the series, A Reaper at the Gates!

Ready for the cover and synopsis? Here it is!

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. 

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight. 

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.


But first, I know what you're all probably all thinking. And I want to talk a bit about it.

My first reaction was probably similar to many of yours: first excitement at the cover being released, and then realizing the cover is completely different from the previous books. If you're like me and have bought the books, you know about how there was already a cover change from the first to the second book. And now we have another change again. 

I get it, it's frustrating. I have both the hardcover and softcover version of An Ember in the Ashes, with their two different covers, and also the second book in the new cover. Meaning if I'm going to want this entire series to match, I'm going have to go buy an entirely new set of the books. And that's quite the investment, seeing that I already own 3 of them.

But let's just take a moment and step back for a second. And actually look at the new covers and compare them to the new ones. 



What is the main difference? It's the fact that we actually get to see people on the covers. Unlike with the previous covers, where we only see figures and shadows of Laia and Elias, in the new covers, we get to see the ethicality of Laia. And that's important. Especially with everything that's going on these days. Diverse books require having diverse cover models to properly reflect the ethnicity of the books' protagonists. And for a series as big as An Ember in the Ashes, having Laia properly represented as the person of colour she naturally is sends a powerful message. I strongly believe that it's incredibly important for people to recognize the importance of having diverse covers. We live in a diverse world, and everyone, regardless of their ethicality, should be fairly represented.

So my conclusion is that though the covers have gone through yet another change, this change is socially for the better. I mean, just look at Laia on the covers! How absolutely gorgeous is she? How badass is she with her daggers? And how perfect does she look with Elias?

And since we're on the topic of incredible HOT does he look on the new covers??? So mysterious what that hood, so deadly with those scims, and those broad shoulders...perfection <3 Way better than just shadows on the old cover. And Helene! She looks downright fierce and worthy of her position as Blood Shrike. I mean, her fearless pose on the cover of the third book? Bad. Ass. You do not want to cross her. So deadly. So confident. *Happy dance*

A Reaper at the Gate comes out April 10th, 2018. Also--who is this "reaper" hinted at in the title? It literally could be referencing Helene or Elias or the Commandant (who frightens me to no ends haha). So many questions! 

Alright, that's enough gushing from me. These are all my opinions. What are your thoughts? Do you like the old covers better (I totally understand if you do--I mean, the old covers had a more gritty feel which fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the world itself)? What do you think of the new covers? Let me know!

Happy reading!


  1. I adore the new covers. I can completely understand the frustration with readers because of them, we all like our books to match and it is annoying when they change... especially half way through a series.
    I agree about Elias tho <333 so freaking hot!!!

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

    1. I KNOW RIGHT? Just one look at him on the covers, and I was swooning <333

  2. They went full on D&D Forgotten Realms with the new covers, which is fine. What I don't like is the clip-art quality of them. It looks like I drew the art and I have the drawing skills of a 3 year-old.

  3. 100% yes
    Elias is a beautiful human
    Ethnic representaiton!

    I just wish that the last book would also be published as the old covers.. I do like those a bit better, but its ok :)

  4. I don't like the new cover, especially because I have the old covers. The new covers look too pretty and neat. Now my books don't match. If you had to change the cover at least design one that continued with the original series. Is this is ploy by book designers to get more money...cause I'm not buying it.