Book review: A Torch Against the Night (AEITA #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Daniela’s rating: 5 stars
Laura’s rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

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.

Daniela’s review


Ugh, I’ve been like zero inspired to write ANYTHING in weeks. But I’m going to give this a try.

Note: this book is the second installment of the An Ember In The Ashes series, so I’M WARNING YOU, this review might contain minor spoilers of book one. So, maybe you should not read this.

In the first book, we end up with two runaways. Elias and Laia need to get out of the city that’s haunting them, and specially from the two women looking to end them both. They’re about to start a journey together, one that will take them to places and make them face things they’d never imagined. But it will also embark them in a path of complete loyalty where they might end up meeting people that will become more than allies, but friends. With Helene set on finding Elias and Laia’s need to find her brother, everything gets complicated real quick, so they need to be extra careful with the people they trust, because you never know when someone will stab you in the back.

The story:

From the first book you can tell this story is all about forming alliances that turn into something more, something based on trust and loyalty. It’s not just a “you help me, I’ll help you” kind of thing. We have two characters that not only want to get away from everything they know, but they want to do things the right way and they find that they have this amazing chemistry, which sparks every time they’re together, that works perfectly in sync. I love that. This might not be as eventful as the first book, but I found the story the characters compelling. It’s well paced, not too fast but not too slow. I find it’s the perfect way to follow a first book, because it has action, a growing story and details that give you hints about what’s going to happen without revealing everything.

(I could’ve lived without Helene’s POV though.)

The characters:

Now, Laia and Elias. Sweet lord. I just love the way they don’t acknowledge what’s between them, it’s like, they both know it’s there, but let’s better not talk about it. It’s frustrating but it’s enticing as well. This usually frustrates me, but this story clearly isn’t all about the romance, so the bits and pieces we actually get, makes it all the more interesting. I love Elias’ resolve to help others. It’s unbelievably sweet and amazing. And I’m kind of liking Laia a bit more, she’s not as whiny as before, but that only means she’s growing into the story, which is good. She starts realizing things, like how valuable she and her brother are and at least tries to be more than what she’s been her entire life.

The Commandant is still a bitch.

Helene is more annoying than before.

Ohhhh and that twist. I was kind of expecting something like that to happen, so it wasn’t a complete surprise, but I had hopes it wouldn’t go like that. And even so, I’m not even mad. I I enjoyed this book a lot so it didn’t really bothered me. Now, I can’t begin to imagine how it’ll all go on the next book.

I couldn’t put it down and loved reading every single page. I can’t wait to finally read the next book.

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