A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir Review (The Ember Series #4)

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Trigger and Content Warnings: Violence, Gore, Open Marriage, Infidelity, LGBT+ characters and relationships, student-teacher relationship, erotica

Tahir ends this multicultural fantasy series on an even note. I’d rate it somewhere a little above A Reaper at the Gates, but with writing that elicits moderate to deep emotion. The Commandant Keris Veturia will remain one of the top villains of current literature, in my opinion. Her character is multi-faceted: extremely evil but with deep pain that led me to sympathize with her a little. Kudos to Sabaa Tahir for writing such a well-written villain 👏🏼.

I’d sub-categorize this series as dark academia, since two of the protagonists are former students of the villain. It’s rarely spoken of but I do wish Tahir let the alumni of Keris’ school muse more over her as their former teacher than as a politician. However, I’m not a fan of the erotic scenes, which usually captured the emotional turmoil between both parties but felt like filler throughout this story, as well as the student-teacher relationship involved between two major characters, becoming even more scandalous when its revealed the teacher was in an open-marriage and impregnated his student. Also, Tahir writes in support of LGBT+ relationships, which is controversial within the Muslim community.

Overall Tahir’s writing never bored me, plus she provides some mini-recaps, which is perfect for those (like me) who couldn’t reread the first three books of this series.


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