A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.
In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.
I received this ARC from the publisher while attending BEA earlier this year. I was in no way compensated for this review.
A Torch Against the Night is Sabaa Tahir's second book in the An Ember in the Ashes series (that's right SERIES! As when I write this today, Sabaa announces an additional two books will be added to the series at large!). Which is a good thing because this one ends with so many loose-ends and whatnot that I would be most unhappy if that was the actual end for our characters. Even with one more book, as I initially thought this would be a trilogy would feel rushed with all the need to tie up those loose-ends! But I'm getting ahead of myself here!
While a great deal of things happen in this one, on the same hand not much truly happens. But this is in no way a bad thing. I enjoyed all the buildup to things to come. And I am pretty sure the next book is going to be explosive! We have Laia and Elais on the run from the Commandant and certain death while they try to make their way to Kauf, the prison where Darin, Laia's brother, is being held prisoner.
Not long into their journey they are joined by Keenan and Izzi, who I was most excited to see! I always liked Keenan and his broody moods, but yet how he developed a softer side when it came to Laia. And Izzi is truly one of teh most bravest characters I've met in this series! Plus she's a very loyal friend to Laia.
The danger is amped up a bit when we learn that Elias has been poisoned and doesn't have long to live, but he will do everything possible to rescue Darin before his time comes to an abrupt end. This I think truly adds to the danger and pacing because I couldn't reas fast enough to see if he would make it or not.
Then there's Helene, who's got a few chapters of her own. She's now the Blood Shrike to the emperor--Marcus--and her first mission is to find Elias and bring him back for a public execution. Which Helene will have to administer. Helene has a lot of inner battling going on because a part of her still loves Elias, but then she's also hurt because he essentially chose Laia over her. This definitely makes the love complication I talked about in the first book even more messy, for Laia and Elias still have that other person who they care for, but they still care for one another.
The love complication, as I said, remains to be messy in this one. Though it does seem Helene is trying to do her duty to the emperor and also because she needs to protect her family. Then there's Laia and Keenan and of course Elias. I always enjoyed Keenan's character like I said and I must say I was completely surprised by how this love complication gets settled. At least on one side. it's too soon to say for the other half. Plus, more obstacles still stand between....everyone!
There's a lot of detail to what happens in here and I don't want to get into all of it because of spoilers. But you can know that this was a remarkable read filled with lots of tension, action, suspense, and of course some stolen moments of romance. There's secrets abound in this one too! There's so much mystery surrounding a certain character that we've been getting hints at for two books now. I can't wait for clear answers! Obviously, we can gather some things about what's going on, but for me, I'm the kind of reader who needs to know exactly what's what! LOL!
The ending to this one was good! It's not entirely cliffhangery, but a nice pause in the actiony moments. There's still a great deal to come for all our characters involved. And I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Marcus gets a few chapters pov's next time, because he too is going through somethings that we only get hints of!
A Torch Against the Night was an incredibly alluring read and I am anticipating the release of the third book to see what fates await all our favorite characters! If you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend it! It's a nice fantasy read that isn't overly hard to understand its world and rules and naturally, it's one dangerous place to live in! Good thing I'm just a reader on the outside! LOL! Yet another fabulous read from the talented Sabaa Tahir that leaves me craving for more...but at least this time I am not screaming in agony while I wait! ;)
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
A Torch Against the Night releases August 30, 2016