A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
Fantasy/Dystopian, Young Adult
(SPOILERS FOR AN EMBER IN THE ASHES)
“But you […] are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn.”
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.
If you’ve read my review of An Ember In The Ashes, you know that I absolutely loved it and it became one of my favorites as soon as I finished it.
I loved this book even more.
Remember the dual point of view in the first book? Didn’t you love being in both Elias’s and Laia’s minds? In this book, you get to be in Helene’s mind too, and let me just say, she’s the best character in this whole series. You’re going to love her voice.
It starts off where we left Elias and Laia in the last book, trying to get out of the city without, you know, getting killed, because every Martial in the city is after them. It’s so exciting and there’s so much tension; it’s brilliant!
Then they just try to make their way to Kauf, and it’s an amazing quest! You won’t be able to put it down. Laia’s so worried about Darin and excited to see him, and you’ll be too. Prepare to have some massive tides of feelings!
We see some great secondary characters we already know (remember Izzi, Keenan and Afya?) and we discover more about the characters’ pasts! I’ve cried a few times reading this book, and I don’t shed tears easily.
Elias’s childhood with the Tribesmen is explored a bit more, and it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I love him so much. As I’ve already said in my other review, he’s one of my favorite male characters!
SO MANY TWISTS. It’s an incredibly thrilling and fast read. This book will kill you and you’ll rise from the dead to try to finish it!
Sabaa Tahir’s writing is amazing, and I really want to read more of her books, but she doesn’t have any more *cries*. The expected publication date for the third book, according to Goodreads, is 2018! I’m not sure I can wait that long…
I’ll just say that if you liked the first book, do not hesitate. Grab your copy of A Torch Against The Night as soon as you can.
I’ll probably write a booktalk about this book soon, because I can’t discuss all the things I’d like to without spoiling literally the whole book.
Sabaa Tahir has done it again, she has crafted an incredible, heartstring-tugging masterpiece and has left me in shreds.
Would recommend 10/10.
Want to see more of A Torch Against the Night? Stay tuned for a booktalk/discussion coming soon!