A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill (30th Aug 2016)
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Format/Source: ARC (sent by Penguin Random House International)
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.
Last year, I had the privilege to read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and I was really enchanted by the story of a scholar girl who had to disguise herself as a slave to aid in the rebellion of an oppressive and a young soldier who is fed up with living life as a pawn who kills to conquer and quell scholars in the name of the Empire.
You cannot imagine my excitement when I was invited to take part in the blog tour of A Torch Against the Night! Okay, you probably could. Come on, you could probably tell how excited I get about books. So thank you to the lovely lot at Penguin Random House International for giving me this opportunity to join other fellow Emberlings to gush over the awesomeness that is A Torch Against the Night!
A Torch Against the Night is the continuation of the story of Laia and Elias as they escape the inhumane clutches of the Empire, especially Elias’s mother, the Commandant. Together, they cook up a plan to flee Serra and head to Kauf to break Laia’s brother, Darin, out of prison. In Serra, Marcus is the new Emperor and his second-in-command is Helene, the Blood Strike.
The only one word that can be used to describe A Torch Against the Night: intense. It was so action packed, emotionally charged and I was hooked from the first page because the story just flowed so well and smoothly. Coming back to the universe that was created so brilliantly by Tahir was a thrill to read. It was as if I could remember reading An Ember in the Ashes. I didn’t realise how much I missed the universe, the characters, her writing until I started ploughing through the story.
What else can be said besides Sabaa Tahir being such an excellent storyteller? Her unique writing style is as enchanting as how a Kehanni captures the attention of her audience, keeping our interest and pulling us along for a spellbinding and unexpected ending.
The book also alternates between the narratives of Laia, Elias and Helene and I usually don’t really like multiple POVs unless they are absolutely necessary but for me, it was such a clever and important device in successfully allowing the readers to understand and keep up with the progress of the book. The characters had their own arcs and I felt that each and every one of them had their personal conflicts and conflicts that were well-executed.
I love the progression of the story because the way the book was written was incredible and it really exhibited Tahir’s writing. Mainly due to the fact that the pacing of the entire novel was good and I didn’t feel like there was a dull moment.
A Torch Against the Night was so fast-paced, with every chapter bringing more surprises and unexpected twists. Given the pressure of having to write a sequel that will either make or break the series, it is safe to say that Tahir slayed ever so gracefully.
I’d like to thank Penguin Random House International for hosting this blog tour and inviting me!