A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Total Pages: 452
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.
YOU. GUYS. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’ve been impatient as all hell and practically crying myself to sleep very single night waiting for this book to be released – reference my Waiting on Wednesday post about this book if you don’t believe me. I was like a little kid on Christmas on August 30th! You know who wasn’t as happy as I was on August 30th? The UPS man who delivered the book to my house, because I almost hugged him as I squealed with excitement and he looked really uncomfortable. So, to start this post, I just want to say: HELL FREAKING YES! THIS BOOK DELIVERED! I read this as slowly as I possibly could because I didn’t want to miss anything, but mostly because I didn’t want it to be over because, well, depression for the unforeseeable future until the next book is released. Sigh.
Let’s talk about…THE ADDITION OF HELEN’S POINT OF VIEW. When I first heard that this was happening, I was not happy. Helene was not one of my favorites in An Ember in the Ashes, so I had exactly zero interest in having to be inside her head. Hi, my name is Kayla, and I’m here to admit that I’m an idiot. While I still don’t enjoy Helene, I absolutely loved the inclusion of her point of view. The story had so much depth with the third perspective added. We got insight from the good guys and the bad guys, and it really brought everything to life for me, I felt as though I had the true full picture. Now I’m curious what An Ember in the Ashes could have been if we’d had Helene’s POV in that book too. Hmmmm.
Let’s talk about…THE CHARACTERS. The character building that Sabaa Tahir does is outstanding. There are no characters (that are mentioned more than like once or twice) that I don’t have strong feelings about. They are described, given histories, given motives, and brought to life so brilliantly that I connect with them all either in either a good or bad way. Tas and Harper are some of my new favorites that were introduced in this book. Marcus is still awful. The Commandant is still awful. Keenan is still awful. Helene is still meh. Elias is still my book boyfriend.
Let’s talk about…ALL THE STUFF THAT IS GOING ON. There is so much, LIKE SO MUCH, going on in this book! It’s freaking insane, and what is even more insane is that Sabaa Tahir can have all this shit going on at the same time, and it’s all intertwined so intricately, but somehow it’s not confusing whatsoever and it’s all just brilliant and magical and perfect! Whew. I held my breath while I was typing that, so I hope that helps to explain the intensity of that sentence. We get answers to questions that were left unanswered in An Ember in the Ashes, we learn new things, we get teased about other things throughout this entire book, and I loved every second of it! Some of the twists in the story are not ones that I saw come at all, so that was badass. The best part, though, is definitely how intricately woven everything is throughout the different perspectives, characters, and story lines. Something that may happen to one person that seems really insignificant may prove to be totally significant down the line, and it’s all just freaking brilliant.
Ugh. I do not feel like anything that I can say will do this book justice. Just take my word for it as a nice person and if you haven’t done so already, read this series. Sabaa Tahir, you’re still a Queen. I bow down to you. Now please write the next book quickly. Thank you!
Did you enjoy Helene’s POV being added to the story?