Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
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.
~ ~ ~ ~
I read An Ember in the Ashes earlier this year, and I loved it. It became one of my all-time favorite books then, and I was not at all disappointed by the sequel. The third book is also coming out May 22, 2018, and it is going to be called “A Reaper at the Gates.” I am so excited to get my hands on the book because I know, without a doubt, I will not be disappointed. (If I am, feel free to reference this post.)
Elias, Laia, and Helene have all grown so incredibly much. They have faced death and loss, and they are all trying to figure out who they are and what they really stand for. I was tossed on being able to like Helene because she is just a little annoying, like there are other ways she could have gone about the situation and save both her family and Elias, but it added the suspense of her character, so I didn’t mind too much. Tahir’s character development skills are so strong, and her ability to make them so complex is greatly appreciated.
The ending is so intense. I was actually glued to this book – I took it everywhere even when I knew I wouldn’t read it. When I got to the last part of the book, titled Unmade, I had to take a break because it was just getting too intense. Some of you probably saw my Instagram story where I was freaking out after I finished it. I did a whole rant *with spoilers,* and some of it should be saved under “book feels” on my profile. Sabaa Tahir is the official master of plot twists. She managed about 500 plot twists the last 100 pages, and they were all done so well and were even created in the first book and came to the surface at the end. I wasn’t expecting literally anything that was thrown my way, but I am also pretty oblivious, so maybe it’s just me.
About the star-crossed lovers… I love it, because usually in these kinds of series there’s either insta-love, or they just end up together by the end of the first book. I also hate it because I just want them to be happy and I just can’t deal with their suffering. They have experienced so much pain, they just deserve it.
I also just love the setting and diversity of this series. It takes place in the deserts, and I believe, a place similar to the middle East as Sabaa Tahir is Pakistani, and it is seen in the descriptions of the people and the culture. It was nice to explore out of the typical fantastical lands and experience a different setting.
If you feel iffy about starting or continuing this series, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed. I have only heard great things about this series. Please tell me down below if you’ve read this series and how you feel about it!
Thanks for reading!