Monday 17 June 2019

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Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Published: 12th July 2018 | Publisher: HarperVoyager | Source: Bought
Sabaa Tahir's Website

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt Elias and Laia as they flee the city of Serra.

Laia and Elias are determined to break into the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison to save Laia’s brother, even if for Elias it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

They will have to 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.
From Goodreads.

My other reviews of the An Ember in the Ashes Quartet:
An Ember in the Ashes (Book 1) (#Ad)

WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

Content/Trigger Warnings: This book features a fade-to-black sex scene, a panic attack, ghosts/spirits, slavery, torture, death, and genocide.

It's been around two years since I read An Amber in the Ashes, but even though it's been a while, I absolutely loved it, and really wanted to continue with the series. And A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir is an awesome follow up!

This is a difficult book to talk about plot-wise, because a lot happens that is quite spoilery. A Torch Against the Night starts off moments after the end of An Ember in the Ashes, and follows them as they escape and journey to Kauf, the prison where Laia's brother, Darin, is being held. The focus of this book is getting to Kauf to try and free Darin, so most of the book is the journey northward. Because of this, in some ways, it's a slower, quieter book, but that's not to say a large number of things happen along the way, things I can't talk about. But it's not just a boring story of them travelling from A to B. They discover a lot on their journey, various things happen to them, and things get very interesting, indeed.

It's told from the perspectives of Laia, Elias, and Helene, though we get more of Laia and Elias than Helene. I can't really talk about the character arcs or development for Laia and Elias without spoiling things, but they are so very interesting and exciting! Even so, I absolutely loved her chapters! She is a really complex and interesting character. She believes in the Empire, and their superiority to everyone else. But she hates the new Emperor, Marcus, and the Commandant, Elias' mother. Marcus has given her the mission to hunt down Elias, and she's torn between doing her duty and going after the man she loves, or not and risking her family. Because Marcus is a heartless, cruel and ruthless emperor, and will have the respect - or fear - of his people, and will absolutely follow up on his threats. I have conflicting feelings for Helene, because she's not a bad person. She has been brought up, like most around her, to believe that she is superior to others, that the Empire is everything, and the Scholars are below them. They're nothing, and their ill treatment is deserved. And it's just so difficult, because I definitely felt for her and the situations she finds herself in, the decisions she has to make, but at the same time, she doesn't bat an eyelid at the treatment of the Scholars, though we never see her treating anyone badly. So I switch between really liking her as a person, and feeling sorry for her, to feeling absolutely disgusted at some of the views she has, and wanting to scream, "What is wrong with you?!"

As I've said several times, there's a lot I can't talk about. But there are a number of discoveries, things that are sure to become important later down the line, there are interesting developments, there are a number of questions that aren't answered, and there are a few jaw-dropping twists that I absolutely did not see coming, and they are just so exciting! It's a real emotional roller coaster, and I seriously just want to give both Laia and Elias a hug! A Torch Against the Night is an incredible sequel, action packed and completely captivating! I absolutely cannot wait to read A Reaper at the Gates, and see where the story takes our characters next! I have a feeling it's going to be epic!

You might also like:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Over to you graphic
What are your thoughts about sequels that slow down the pace a little? What do you think about books where so many things happen that it makes them difficult to discuss? What are some of your favourite sequels? If you've read A Torch in the Night, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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