Book Review: 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.


As I thought after finishing An Ember in the Ashes, I couldn’t read any other book till I binged this series and so I started this sequel immediately. And just like the first book, this was almost a single sitting read because I couldn’t put it down at all.


I felt the pacing of the book slowed down a little this time; not that it’s any less tense or intense, just more of a slow journey. The twists and turns are also much more pronounced, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. And as I was reading quite fast, I didn’t stop to think of what was coming, so every reveal was very surprising and I really enjoyed the experience. The world is still pretty bleak and hopeless, and I can’t even imagine what more horrors are in store in the next book.


This time, I really can’t choose whom I liked more. Laia is as determined as ever to get her brother out of the prison, but seeing her fight and suffer and see the destruction of her loved ones and lose confidence in herself, but also finding her strength once more, was great to read about and I admired her so much. Elias is more tortured than ever, but I totally did not see the turn his story took and I’m quite perplexed with what’s gonna happen next with him. Everyone seems to take advantage of his empathy but I hope it’ll always prove to be his strength. Helene on the other hand is put to every test possible and I’m amazed at her will power and loyalty that she still holds on. She is fighting on all sides while trying to keep herself safe and sane, and after what happened towards the end, I’m even more curious to see how she changes and what destruction she will cause to her enemies.


In the end, this was as engaging as the previous book and I’m so glad I got to read the books back to back. And right now, I’m rushing to pick up the next one because I can’t wait.

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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    1. Haha I think I might have put them off too if I had to wait every year… the world is pretty bleak and hopeless….
      But it’s definitely great for a binge read… Hope you do pick it up 😍😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahahaha yesss! Me too! I really need this (lol literally just wrote a comment under your third review like 30 sec ago saying the exact same thing lol – sorry, also for using the word lol too often, my friends remind me all the time but I can’t stop hahah)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahhhh! Great review as always Sahi! ♥️ HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS SERIES? Also I attempted to skim read when I found out this was the review for the sequel. (Spoiler alert: attempt failed). I love how excited you sounded! Also that cover .. damn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh you haven’t!!!! I’m surprised… it’s quite the popular one.
      You should checkout my yesterday’s review, that’s the first book… I scheduled all three reviews continuously 😍😍😍 because I binged the books too 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

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