A Torch Against The Night (An Ember In The Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir
Published August 30, 2016 by Razorbill
Genres Young Adult, Fantasy
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 more secure and dangerous prison, to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholar’s 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 Strike. 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 his escape and kill them both.
If you follow my reviews, you will know that I only recently read An Ember In The Ashes but I absolutely loved everything about it. You can read my review here. And I was so happy that I only had to wait 2 month for the sequel. Anyway, I will keep this spoiler free, while trying to express my love for this book. The sequel picks up right where the first book left off and is fairly fast paced through most of the book. The book is told from 3 first person perspectives that alternate every chapter; Laia, Elias and Helene. I really liked the way the author did this because at times we got perspectives from three completely separate locations. And because we are seeing things from Helene’s perspective, we are also seeing what is going on into the Black Guard and what is happening with Marcus first hand. Elias and Laia are still my favorite characters in this book; I love them both and I love them together. I felt like we got to know both of them on a deeper level during this book as they sometimes opened up a bit more to each other, as well as other individuals throughout the book. We also learn some new information about Elias and Laia as individuals and of their background and family. I also really love all of the female characters in these books because they are all such strong and independent women, even when they are put in impossible situations.
Marcus is exactly the type of ruler I thought he would be; he shows zero mercy to anyone. The Commandant, who I thought who fairly evil in the first book, is even worse in this book. And then there is the Warden of Kauf prison who is on a who new level of creepy and sadistic. We meet some new characters, such as a charming young Scholar boy named Tas in Kauf prison, as well as a large number of tribesmen from the tribe that raised Elias and some of their allies. We also see some of the loved characters from the first book, such as Izzi and Keenan in this book as well. Okay, well I love Izzi, I don’t really love Keenan. I think that there is really only one big plot twist in this book and let me tell you I did not have the slightest clue about it. I thought the author was headed one way and I was very wrong. There were a few other surprises or smaller plot twists/events towards the end of the book that I also was not expecting. And once again, Tahir’s world building is amazing and I love the Ancient Rome feel to the worlds in these books. It’s amazing. The ending wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it also didn’t end in a major cliffhanger, which made me quite happy. It did end in a way that made me very excited for the next book in this series, which I really hope will be released next year. Overall, I loved this book and I don’t have a single complaint! If you have yet to read this series, I highly recommend you do! Happy reading!