A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: 30 August 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: ARC from the Publisher
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.
Sabaa Tahir is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult fantasy AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. She grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
* I received an Advance Review Copy of the book from the Publisher. I am not compensated to review the book and this has in no way affected any opinions I have said.
This book is probably one of the best books written by Sabaa Tahir. I mean, COME ON! The whole time I was reading it made my skin clammy and I felt nervous each sweating time. I don't even know what to say. Bear with me as I babble my way into this review.
So, I prompted myself to focus on reading this one although I am being tortured just by looking at Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, which by the way I am reading now after I've finished with Torch. Boy, was I proud I did that one on purpose because my sole focus was on reading and finishing and reviewing this book. One thing I was happy about was the added POV we'll be getting. Helene Aquilla. The tension in the book was so strong I was emotionally feeling it. It's like another level up from Ember. It's so raw and brutal but so so good.
"You are a torch against the night- if you dare to let yourself burn."
Imagine the horror while reading the book. Elias and Laia takes the journey to reach Laia's brother, Darin, and help him escape from being imprisoned in Kauf. Then Marcus orders Helena (her POV let's us in the Empire's strategies and plans) to find and execute Elias. Talk about all the swirling emotions I got when reading. How I survived? I don't have any idea. Everything is on war. Brutality level took a notch higher. It was so exciting and thrilling. And oh my god what is a book without romance right? That's what totally killed me. Shattered my heart to a million pieces when will I get more of Elias/Laia lovey-dovey?
Honestly, one of the great character improvements *insert slow clap here* was Helene Aquilla. I loved her depiction so much that I began to ache for her. Everything around her throws so much emotions and the pain is quite unbearable. She's strong and very dedicated to her family. I totally loved her though she was quite frustrating during the first few pages. But, yay to the greatest character improvement!
Laia, was still the same for me though. She was stagnant for me except for the few brave times. I still like her but Aquilla gets it this time. One thing though, was family devotion, which runs among the blood of these characters. I loved how Sabaa Tahir let it flowed so smoothly and it ran among the characters. Well, except for the Commandant, of course.
Elias, wow. I can't say so much for him but pure heartache. I'll never get that brutality out of my mind.
Overall, I am very pleased with what I have read. It's marvellous. Sabaa Tahir nailed it! I would definitely recommend this series to all the readers who haven't read it yet! Don't let the upcoming movie adaptation fool you, read the goddamn book :D
Labels: A Torch Against The Night, Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Penguin Random House, Sabaa Tahir, Young Adult