Title: A Torch Against the Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I received an arc of Torch whilst at YALC and when I received I mean my friend saw they were giving them out at a stall on twitter and we trampled a bunch of people’s feet as we try to, as slyly as possible, run out of a talk to grab a copy. We of course then had to sneak back in and try and not look completely triumphant and smug. Which was a little difficult to do as we held the glorious arcs in our hands.
I was a huge fan of An Ember in the Ashes so I was really excited to read the sequel. It of course did not disappoint. It picks up where Ember left of and I was immediately pulled back into the story. There are three narrators; Laia, Elias and Helene. All of which are total bad asses in their own spectacular way. I enjoyed reading from all of their POVs. I found that having three narrators was not confusing, which can sometimes happen when this format is used, but instead showed you the story from different perspectives. This made the book seem richer in emotions and gave me a better understanding of the characters.
It would seem that after reading Torch I have fallen in love with Elias, I honestly couldn’t help myself. I just adore him. I really felt for him in this book. He has turned his back on everything he knows to do what he thinks is the right thing and you can feel him struggle with this throughout. His and Helene’s friendship has been torn apart but you can still see that they really care about each other and I could feel the heart-wrenching emotions the two had when they had to face each other. Once they stood side by side, comrades, friends but now they are enemies and you can feel the pain it causes them to admit this.
Torch is fast-paced and action packed. There was no moment I found a lull in the story. If anything just as it begun to quiet down a new secret would be revealed that left me gasping in shock or outrage. If possible this was better than Ember! I know I can’t believe I’m saying it either but it truly was. Tahir has stepped up her game and created a fantasy master piece. I cannot wait for the next installment. Please don’t let it be a long wait.
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