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.
A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Format: Hardcover, 452 pages
Status: Feb 16, 2017 to Feb 19, 2017
My rating: 4/5
I picked up A Torch Against the Night almost instantly after I finished An Ember in the Ashes. Even though I didn’t enjoy An Ember in the Ashes as much as I had hoped (I give it 3/5 stars), there was something promising about the story that made me want to start reading its sequel immediately. Prepare to be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions with A Torch Against the Night.
A Torch Against the Night is packed with action. If you’re expecting a light, relaxing read, then look somewhere else, because this novel will have you biting your nails with anticipation from the first page to the last. The first scene literally picks up in the tunnel where Tahir left us in An Ember in the Ashes, and every step in Laia and Elias’s journey from that point onwards is absolutely breathtaking.
There were many, many things I enjoyed about this book, my favorite being Helene’s point of view. Although I did like Helene in An Ember in the Ashes and could sympathize with her mentality from time to time, A Torch Against the Night truly displays what a strong, capable character she is. I was sickened by the horrible choices Helene had to make on a day to day basis, which often involved sacrificing herself or one of her loved ones for the sake of the Empire. Marcus, as expected, is a heartless Emperor, although the humane side of him does show through from time to time. The tension between him and Helene is omnipresent and dangerous, and I can’t wait to see it develop in the next book in the series, which is expected to be published in 2018.
Something I didn’t like about the book was its pacing. Some of the events seemed a little scattered to me, and altogether the book was very, very fast-paced. I feel like if it had been a tad bit slower, I would have been able to enjoy it more simply because I would have gotten the chance to savor every moment. Also, even though all the characters had complex, multidimensional personalities and relationships, they still felt a little distant sometimes.
In addition, A Torch Against the Night introduces a plethora of new, lovable characters, but the one that stood out to me the most was a member of Helene’s Black Guard – Avitas Harper. This man is quiet, mysterious, and a strange mixture of good and evil, and I can really see a lot of potential for him in the third book and hope to discover more about his background.
All in all, A Torch Against the Night is a spellbinding addition to a wonderful fantasy series that will leave you breathless on more than one occasion. Have you read A Torch Against the Night? Are you planning on reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!