A Torch Against the Night

Hi Guys!

Last night I finished Sabaa Tahir’s sequel to her first novel An Ember in the AshesA Torch Against the Night.

A Torch Against the Night picks up where we left off in book one, only this time we have three narrators: Laia, Elias, and Helene.

Laia and Elias are on the run after a spectacular escape from Blackrock. They are bent on escaping the Empire all together and saving Laia’s brother from Kauf prison. But the two are wanted fugitives and trouble lurks around every corner. The empire, poison, and otherworldly dark forces work against them. Laia and Elias will have to call in old debts and beg for assistance from any allies they can find.

Chasing them is tortured (figuratively and metaphorically) Helene. Helene has made her oath to the Empire and to it’s new emperor, Marcus and she mustn’t let him down, her families life is in the balance. Helene is sent to find and kill Elias as a test of loyalty, but her heart and the commandant continuously get in her way.

Can Laia and Elias save her brother, the Scholar’s only hope of survival? Will Elias survive a fate beyond his control? Is there more to Laia than meets the eye? Will darkness reign? And will Helene foil it all by completing her mission and proving her loyalty to the Empire?

Wow. This book. I was totally not expecting the intricate web Tahir spun for us. There is just so much going on, just shy of too much. We get our expected storylines: Elias and Laia on the run, attraction, trying to save Daarin; and  Helene trying to catch them, survive Marcus and be true to herself. But we also get this bigger fantastical picture with ghosts, a trapped dark power trying to get free, a key that needs to be found and put back together, and oh so much more. Elias, Laia and Helene are caught up in this mess and they really don’t know it until the end…but we do. This book is really a build up for more and good thing too because two more books are in the works–next not out until 2018! WHAT!

I really liked Elias and Laia together; they are so much more interesting and stronger when they work together. At one point Elias goes off on his own and Laia loses the hardness she earned in book one and quite frankly gets annoying until she gets it back. Helene… well I’m not sure about Helene. I liked her at the end but there was something about her that made me want to speed through her chapters to get back to E&L.

There were a lot of things in this book that I didn’t see coming, a few big reveals that I did but so many that added a pleasantly surprised depth to the story. I was left with so many questions and yet, I was satisfied with the ending. If this was a duology, it could have ended with ATATN and I would have been mostly fine with it.

Overall, I liked this story. I’m not fangirl-ing over it but it was a good read and I will be interested in seeing what Tahir can do with the rest of it. Four stars for me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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Author: MarandaLee

Children's Librarian. Connoisseur of all things bookish.

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