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.
Some spoilers for previous books may be included in the following review.
Wow, what a satisfying conclusion to this series. I was really worried what direction the author was going in with the ending but I needed have, the conclusion worked really well for me.
Sky Beyond the Storm picks up shortly after the previous book ended. Our characters are having a major regrouping moment after everything felt lost. One of the things that I’ve always loved about this series is just how strong some of the characters are. Now, I’m not talking about physical strength (although some of them certainly have that as well) but resilience. Laia is probably one of the strongest characters I know. She’s constantly dealing with life beating her down but that never breaks her. Even when her loved ones become enemies or get taken from her she carries on trying to do the right thing for everyone else and even becomes a leader of others. She has a strong will and also an unfathomably large well of hope within her. These character traits really come to life in this final book. Laia is dealing with Elias, now the Soul Catcher, trying to remind him of his humanity and love him however she can, even if she can’t change who he’s become.
For Elias’ part…where do I start? His role of the Soul Catcher has taken him over, but there are times when he starts to shine through as the old Elias. This makes for some great conflict within his own character as he starts feeling torn between these two sides of himself. At first when it was revealed that Elias was going to be the Soul Catcher I felt so angry, like why would the author do this to his character? But really, he needed some internal conflict because the whole loyalty to the crappy empire was thing was resolved ages ago. And Helene. Who would have thought in the first couple of books that by the end she’d become a favorite? I honestly think her character arc is the best in the series. She’s a perfect example of how to develop a character over time.
I will say that this conclusion did put me a bit through the emotional wringer. There were so many different emotional parts to it. I was sitting on the edge of my seat at times, gasping in shock and horror at other, profoundly touched during other times, and joyous as well. It was a bit obvious in that it was a book that was tying up a lot of loose ends, but those ends did get tied up so I appreciate that about it. And there are a TON of loose ends. There’s just so very much going on in these books by the time you get to the fourth one. What started out as a rather simple story of star-crossed love has grown into quite the epic tale of empires, colonialism, struggles for power, revenge, love, destiny, family and faith. It would take to long to go into all the various plot threads here but I will say that I’m glad everything came together in the end.
Overall, I really loved this series and the first one was one of the first audiobooks that I really got into that kicked off my love for audio so I owe the series a lot for that alone. But beside that, these were fun books that really added lots of layers to the story as each book came out. I did feel like this was a very satisfying conclusion and I was happy with the way things turned out in the end. It all felt fitting and well-earned on the part of the characters. 4.5/5 stars.