A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: August 30, 2016 by Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
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.
I told you to buckle up for Torch. Since I used the adrenaline coaster metaphor for Ember, I’ll stick with it to describe my reading experience.
Torch was so good that upon reaching the final chapters, I had to read inside a jam-packed jeepney because I couldn’t delay my progress. Not reading for hours because of the commute home would mean asking the operator to stop the ride when you’re at the highest point of the coaster. So even if it meant risking myself getting dizzy afterwards, I did it. (And thankfully I was okay. Bookworm magic!)
In this book, we get to see more of the world and we get to meet more of the characters introduced in Ember. New (and very controversial) characters are presented in this book, and they’re the faulty railings that make the ride dangerously thrilling.
Elias has feelings for Laia. I felt in in Ember, and I felt it even more in Torch. Team Laias for the win. Team Laias until the end. ❤
I love reading Helene’s POV! I liked her character in Ember, but Torch is her book. I feel so much for her.
Can Keris get more evil and merciless than she is? She’s the cruelest character I’ve ever met. But there is one character I hate more than her. And it’s not Marcus, even if he was pretty evil, too. Once you read those words revealing who my most-hated character is, you’ll probably freak out, too.
The deaths in Ember will feel nothing compared to the deaths in Torch. Aside from the actual number of people who died, the weight of their deaths stopped my heart for a moment so I could mourn them. This book will make you believe someone actually died but not really, then it would make you believe someone did not really die, but actually did.
There were unexpected allies, unexpected enemies, and unexpected revelations – throat-drying screams that come out of your mouth because the coaster has driven you crazy and you want more. Because who wouldn’t crave that feeling if a torturer suddenly becomes a friend, if love was used for selfish reasons, and if the truth you knew about your family is not exactly accurate?
A Torch Against the Night will leave you wondering with the mysteries and secrets it had laid in front of you. So much power and potential await every reader who reached the last page. There are two more books in the series. Two more rounds for the adrenaline coaster to surprise you with its heart-pounding twists and turns. So bring it on. I am ready.
Final Rating: 5/5