The best sequel ever? // ARC Review: A Torch Against the Night


A Torch Against the Night
By Sabaa Tahir

Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Source: Harper Voyager UK (thank you!)
Format: ARC
Page count: 464
Published (UK): 8th September 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy,

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 received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, This does not affect my opinion***

Last year, I devoured An Ember in the Ashes on holiday, but at the time I read it, it was a standalone! So, obviously, I was so excited when the sequel was announced, and even more excited when I got an ARC to review. I went in with high expectations, but it completely blew them away because it was so much better than AEITA (which I didn’t think was possible!). It is maybe even my favourite sequel of all time!

I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because of how invested I was in the characters. I already knew and loved them from the previous book, so I enjoyed getting back into their voices. Helene was still my favourite character, and she had her own POV in this book, which made me so happy! She was so fierce and caring - everything she did was thought about because she was so sensitive and loyal. She’s my favourite character from a book ever!

I loved all the other characters, too. Laia and Elias are our other protagonists, and they were so well executed as well. I liked Laia because she was determined to get what she wanted, and nothing could stop her, even if everyone thought she couldn’t! She was so clever, and her strong loyalty to her family was admirable.

A Torch Against the Night was incredibly well written and paced. It was written through 3 POVs (which sounds confusing, but never was!), so something was always happening to at least one of the characters. This made the book relentlessly exciting, which made me never want to stop reading it! Sabaa Tahir’s writing has really improved since her last book (which I didn’t think was possible!) which makes me so excited to read more from here. I would highly recommend the series, as it’s now one of my all-time favourites!

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