A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Review by: dancingonrain

After Laia helped Elias escape his execution after the Fourth Trial in the first book, An Ember in the Ashes, Laia and Elias, now fugitives, flee Serra and being a dangerous journey where they not only have to avoid and deal with Martial soldiers, but bounty hunters, other creatures, and nature itself.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf, the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison, to save her brother Darin who is the key to the Scholars’ survival.  He holds the secret to making weapons that can defeat the Empire once and for all.

Elias is determined to help Laia rescue her brother even if it means his life so that the Scholar slaves may have the chance to rise and defeat the Empire with these special weapons Darin can make.  But in doing so will have to come face to face with his former best friend, Helene, who has been ordered to find and kill him by Emperor Marcus.

I find it hard to talk about this too much without giving anything away/spoilers, but I’ll do my best to keep it brief.

I waited months for this sequel to be released and now that I have finished it, I can honestly say I was NOT disappointed.  This sequel was even better than the first book of the series, An Ember in the Ashes.  While the book was predictable at times, it was still well done and I was able to over look that fact because of the story’s rich plot and developed characters.  While I felt that Helene could have used a little more development, overall  the book succeeded in convincing me of the characters’ motivations and wants in a realistic way.

This book was an emotional roller-coaster.  During one scene you would be laughing at a character’s typical jealousy antics and then in the next scene you’d be crying and then the next scene you’d want to throw the book at a window.  And then repeat that sequence all over again, but in a different order.

This book kept me glued to my seat and if I didn’t have a job and other commitments, I would have finished this book in one-sitting.  I avoided starting to read it at night because then I knew I’d be up all night.  Some people could get away with staying up all night, but I need my sleep in order to function  semi-decently.  Ha ha!

Overall, this book was definitely worth my time and purchase.  There have been few book series I have purchased and enjoyed as much as I did when I first bought them to many years later.  An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night will not be one of those series.  I know I will enjoy these books for as long as I live.  I would highly recommend this series to all those fantasy lovers out there.

This series is like a young adult version of A Game of Thrones mixed with Roman Empire Gladiator-esque feel.  If you love those components of a story and don’t mind books a little more on the dark-side, then I know you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.

Happy reading! 😀

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