Review: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the NightElias 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 bought A Torch Against the Night, right after reading An Ember in the Ashes. I just had to know how the story continued. An Ember in the Ashes was a book club pick for The Muslim Shelf.

It’s #ownvoices for brown rep.

Woah damn. It was good. The pacing and tension of the first book, can be felt in this book right from the beginning. I just couldn’t help but get sucked in to the plot.

Izzi is such a great friend. I have to say that it was always one of my favourite parts of this novel. Reading the scenes with Izzi and Laia. They’re beautiful.

There’s a title reference in this book too! Just as in the prequel. And I realise now that the title actually references a main character in each book. It also makes me realise who is being referenced by the title of book 3: A Reaper at the Gates. I also liked that the character referenced in the first book title, is called an ember again in this one.

The Nightbringer is so creepy. Like ugh, I have shivers down my spine just thinking about him. He’s a master manipulator and it’s scary how easy it was for him to win the confidence of other people.

I loved that this book added another perspective to the narration. Helene was an intriguing character in the first book, and her perspective brought yet another new and interesting view upon the society and the region.

There is some ableist language in the book.

A Torch Against the Night was a fascinating sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. I’m sad that I’m going to have to wait quite some time to finally read the third book. It’s definitely a series worth investing in!

Trigger warning: murder, slavery.

4 stars

Have you read A Torch Against the Night? Have you read the first book? What do you think of the series?


2 thoughts on “Review: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

  1. I haven’t read this series but this review definitely makes me want to invest in the story! I’m always on the hunt for books with representation, and especially brown rep as that’s close to my heart. Great review as always! x


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