When I first read An Ember in the Ashes a few weeks ago, I had no idea that it was literally the perfect timing because its sequel, A Torch Against the Night, was going to be released so soon after. So that was pretty cool!
As I’ve mentioned in my review for An Ember in the Ashes, I was delightfully surprised by that book and the way in which it unfolded and revealed itself slowly to the reader.
Its sequel, A Torch Against the Night, did that as well, although I have to admit that to me personally, it was to a lesser degree.
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
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.
This sequel picks up right where AEITA left off, and throws you right back into the action. Each POV character has their own objective. Readers fight through a web of tricks, lies, deceit, betrayals, and misguidings until the plots meet just before the ending of the book. Though, to be fair, Elias’s plot was by far the most interesting to me, and definitely the most surprising. It’s all well and good to watch as Laia struggles with foreign power and fights to save her brother, and also well and good to watch as Helene struggles against her heart and her duty, but Elias’s story is what sells me. What is going on with that boy?
There are not many new characters in this book. But, there is a certain betrayal by a particular character that I totally saw coming from the first book.
As I mentioned before, the world of AEITA drew me in because of the way the story unfolded. But I mentioned that I also felt like this sequel didn’t quite deliver as well. I’m not sure if it’s just the nature of sequels in general, but there is less world-building in this story. Plus, the little hidden secrets and mysteries of the world and plot don’t feel as special (or present).
It was a worthy sequel, and I’m very curious to see where the rest of the series will take us.
I give A Torch Against the Night 4/5 stars
Day 13 of my 14 Day Reading Challenge complete! Just one more to go!!
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