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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Review: A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir


Book: An Torch Against The Night, Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 30th, 2016

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
There’s this weird sense of accomplishment when you finish the latest book in a series, and yet there’s also this feeling of sorrow when you also realise you have to wait two years for the next book to come out, and you know you’re going to forget most details that happened by the time it’s released. That’s pretty much how I feel about A Torch Against the Night.

It was so good; such a worthy sequel. There was action and an amazing relationship between the three main characters. We had three different POVs, and yet with each POV, I instantly connected with them. There was no “hold on, which character am I again?” There was always a different feel, a different type of narration, and I loved it.

Laia has grown so much from that meek, scared girl we first met in Ember. She’s brave, still scared, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save her brother. She’s getting these growing feelings for both Keenan and Elias. It is a love triangle, but it’s a good love triangle. There’s a good twist in it that I kind of suspected, but was still so well-written that it made the love triangle worth it.

Elias has this hero complex; he feels he has to save everyone and everything, all by himself. He can’t accept any help because he’s afraid they’re going to get hurt or die, and this book helps him come to terms with this and try to overcome it. He realises that it’s okay to have help, to have friends, and that he shouldn’t do everything alone. He shouldn’t have to.

And the third POV, Helene, oh, she broke my heart. She had to do what’s right for the Empire and the Emperor as his Second, who gives her a choice - she could either save her family, or save Elias. And we see her face this really horrible decision throughout the book, and dealing with politics, and evil bitches (aka the Commandant) and Marcus as this cruel and vindictive Emperor. Who, by the way, is slowly going insane after certain events in the last book.

The story focuses on Laia and Elias escaping the Empire and journeying to Kauf Prison to save Laia’s brother, who is still suffering there. They face enormous challenges, and learn new things about themselves they would have never known if life had stayed the same. Laia learns about some special abilities she possesses that has anyone who finds out about them completely perplexed and curious. Old characters return, and some new ones are introduced. It was a great journey to travel with them.

Oh, this was just an awesome book, and I'm devastated I have so long to wait until the third book comes out.


  1. NOOOO, you read it before me! D: I have to catch up!
    Wait, there's going to be a third book? Since when? Why did I not know about this??? Either way, I'm so excited for more!!!

  2. Haha, don't worry, the wait for the next book is SOOOO LONG that you're better off waiting so you won't get lost as I undoubtedly will :P And there's actually 4 books in this series, so lots to get excited for!

  3. I’ve been waiting for this for ages! So glad it was nice!!! Can’t wait! :D

    1. Can't wait till you read it; hopefully you'll love it as much as I did!


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