A Brutal Beautiful Book // A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against The Night (An Ember In The Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publication Date: September 6th 2016 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 2/3 of the An Ember In The Ashes Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
Blurb Description: 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.
“Most people are nothing but glimmers in the great darkness of time, but you are no swift burning spark.You are a torch against the night, if you dare to let yourself burn.”

Warning: This contains SOME An Ember in the Ashes (Book 1) spoilers

There is so much I love about this book. There is so much about this book that could have been better, and I don’t know how to start.

It was a year and three months after I put down the prequel did I get the chance to read A Torch Against The Night, and yet, for Laia and Elias and Helene and the rest of the billions living in the Empire, it was mere MINUTES. Needless to say, I was pulled in.

The beginning of Torch was SO SO Good, and it started falling flat in the middle, with a plot twist somewhere in there that was supposed to make me feel something, but didn’t, and then a very predictable ending, rather abrupt ending. Let me explain…

Things that made me SERIOUSLY Fangirl:

    1.       HELENE AQUILLA:

After reading TWO pages in her viewpoint, I knew I NEEDED MORE. I didn’t think much of her in book one, just thought she was an unnecessary complication to the inevitable Laia-Elias soul deep love but OH SAINTS ABOVE. Helene Aquilla is BADASS, LOYAL, BRAVE and in so much pain, I just wanted to reach in and hug her, despite the fact that she would probably run her scims across my throat, but still.

A truly WONDERFUL character development, and I absolutely loved (and hunted down) her POV Chapters.

Also, HELIAS SHIPPER HERE. Go away and drown somewhere Laia.

2.       ELIAS IN ‘MASK’ MODE:

Yes, I’m evil. And possibly sociopathic, but some of my FAVOURITE Elias scenes were when he LET GO of his human side and let the years of intense Mask training take over, to protect and to survive. It was BEAUTIFUL to see such a well-tuned killer mind at work, and really gave it all this raw authenticity.


Yes, she’s terrible. She tortured Laia, and she’s an all-around bully, but just TAKE A STEP BACK and ADMIRE the sheer genius of this lady’s mind, and her ability to PLOT and PLOT and have backup plans for her backup plans. She’s ruthless, power hungry and a terrible human being but WOW. #respect

Things that made me go “UM.”:


UM. OKAY. SO. THAT happened. As soon as I she introduced herself, I KNEW what was coming, and I was DESPERATELY hoping for it not to. It’s just so DONE, this trope, that I hoped it wasn’t true. I hated this whole story arc. If you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about…

2.       THE ENDING:

THERE WAS SO MUCH CHAOS, ALL OVER THE PAGES, (Chaos = Plot Twists, Coups and DEATH) THAT I LOVED IT. I was so prepared for an ending that would DESTROY me, or hoping for it at least, but I flipped a page, and all the chaos had VANISHED. We were suddenly in a calm period that DID NOT go with the theme of the book and it made me want to cry.

All in all, a BRUTAL, BEAUTIFUL book that had the potential to be EVERYTHING, but fell slightly short of the mark.

Have you read book one, An Ember in the Ashes? Did you devour it like a PROPER BookDragon?
What is your opinion on fantasy novels? 
Which fantasy tropes do you hate?
Don't forget to leave me your blog links!

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