Title: A Torch Against The Night
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill; Penguin Random House
Publication Date: August 2016
Genre: High Fantasy
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 a review copy of this book from Penguin Random House Global. So much thanks for sending me a copy of the book I requested. As I always love and cherish their books to the deepest parts of my heart.
How could I even begin to review a book I loved so much as this one. It’s really hard to summon the words. But I must.
I love the voices of Laia, Elias and Helene in my head while reading this book. They are so real and vivid. As if I’m really hauled to the Empire and Serra and witnessing everything with my own two eyes. The heartbreak and hopelessness that leaks on every page is so palpable I really can’t honestly find the air to breathe. I’m awed and at the same time loathed the brutality of it all. I hated like I’ve never hated anyone before the antagonist, the Commandant, the Emperor, and the Night Bringer.
I was so frustrated throughout the whole book though because Helene just doesn’t deserve that too much pain. My heart is breaking all over again for her just as I’m writing this but I know she’s stronger than any character I’ve ever read and she’s going to withstand it all, have her revenge, and finally be loved. She needs to be loved. She must be. For all she’s gone through. All those power, authority, fierceness, and loyalty spent on the wrong things and wrong people are too much to handle even for me.
Bleeding hells. I love Elias Veturius too much, it hurts. He’s so committed and loyal to the girl (shh it’s Laia lol) who honestly is too stupid sometimes but I can’t really blame her because one can be desperate for care and love especially in dire times. It was Elias’s fault in the first place so how could I hate Laia, she just loved and care too much which is definitely the flaw on her armor.
Fault me perhaps but I needed more Laia and Elias from the beginning of the book. I was definitely starving for the both of them but circumstances just couldn’t keep them together. It hurts. I’d say this book is a too excellent sequel except for the romance part because I definitely felt deprived. Well crafted, well organized an definitely make you feel the feels! Btw look out for plot twists! They’ll gonna catch you unguarded,
Sabaa is a very very very good author and writer and I really really really hope to meet her in person one day (and Renee Ahdieh as well, her soul sister). I just love them and their books so much. Hope you come to the Philippines soon. Seriously if you haven’t picked up An Ember in The Ashes and A Torch Against The Night, you’re missing out the best books of the year. So go on then! Read these first before the others on your TBR list!
I made some fanarts for A Torch and An Ember and they're actually available on my RB shop! Just click the images below.