Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
and welcome to my book review of A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir. I recently read the first book in the series, An Ember in the Ashes, which I really enjoyed and I gave a 4/5 star rating. It was really easy for me to fall in love with the characters, and so I was higly anticipating the release of the second book in the series, and sure enough, I received it the day it came out. so, without further ado, let’s get into the review.
- Plot: the plot was one of the most fast-paced plots I have ever read. I could not draw a breath in between scenes because it was if there was no scene break, where the characters rested. Even though this made me read the book in only a couple of days, and made me really enjoyed it because I was not bored at all, sometimes this was a tiny bit too fast. On the one hand I really appreciated how all the small details that I overlooked in book one came together and intertwined in the bigger picture, on the other hand I also felt it was not explained enough, or that the action was not described thoroughly.
- Characters: I love Elias and Helene, I find that I can really sympathize with them, because both of them are in extremely difficult situations, and I think they react well to them. Laia I found being a bit more selfish this time around, and I will explain more about this in the spoilery section. I love the figure of the Warden and little Tas, they were a nice add to the picture. Also, Afya is so badass I want to be like her!
- Writing: the writing was good, as I mentioned very – too – fast-paced, and sometimes cliche, although this did not prevent me from enjoying the book a lot. Sabaa’s style of writing is definitely not descriptive, and sometimes I wished she described the landscapes a bit more just to get a nicer view of the world.
These are my non-spoilery thoughts about the book. Let me know if you have read it and what you thought about it. I really hope they will release a third one, because I thought that there are so many questions that need to be answered.
Until next time,
**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
I hated what happened to Elias. Right when Laia finally realizes that she is attracted to him, he needs to become Soul Catcher, what?! I want him to rest a bit from all the horrible things that happen to him.
Laia, I have to admit, I did not really like this time around. I understand she needs to save her brother, but too many people are dying in the process. Also, why does the Nightbringer want her and not Darin? I want to find out what kind of creature Laia is. It killed me that Elias and Laia did not have a steamy moment until the very end of the book! It kept me to the edge of my seat until the end, and I really wanted it to happen before.
My heart broke when Izzi died. She had the most honorable death, and it really pained me to see her go, because she was such a good character. Also, who the hell is Cook? What does it mean that she is ‘the Commandant’s creature’? I really want to see Keris dead, I despise her, and I am curious to see where Quin has gone in hiding, since he might be the key to destroy her.
I loved – loved – the very last scene. “Look at you little sister. Look at you.” Gosh it almost made me cry, really.