A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS: Laia and Elias are on the run and hatching a plan to free Laia’s brother from prison. Helene has been tasked with bringing the fugitives back to the empire and struggles between her duty and her heart. While life and death is at stake, even bigger forces are starting together to further entwine all three of their lives.

PREVIOUS: An Ember in the Ashes

 

An Ember in the Ashes completely held me captive and while I didn’t want to put down A Torch Against the Night, it didn’t capture me the way its predecessor did. Tahir writes brilliantly and I was so happy that Helene had a POV, but I felt that Laia and Elias together didn’t work for me because we stopped seeing how they are different in their worlds and I still feel like I’m being told that they should be together instead of being shown why they should be together. While I did like how they worked together as a team, they seemed to do a lot better when they were by themselves which was odd to me. I am interested to learn more about Helene and Laia’s powers though and where they come from/how they will play into the bigger picture. I’m also excited to see how Elias’s choice changes everything. A lot of the intrigue and mystery was missing for me and while we got a lot of that during Helene’s moments, it wasn’t enough to satisfy me. I like that we are introduced to the big bad and get an explanation as to what he wants. I wish we understood more why the Commandant is helping him though. I wish we had more information on the Commandant in general because she is such a fascinating character! Lots of intense moments happened which surprised me because the level of violence didn’t feel like it matched everything else to me, but at the same time the violence matched the personalities of the characters committing them. I also appreciated that I didn’t see the plot twist coming at all. Usually I’m very good at seeing through a character’s actions, but this character absolutely had me fooled and I’m very impressed about it. It made what happen even more shocking and even more heartbreaking for me and I liked that Tahir got that reaction out of me. While I didn’t love this book as much as I did the first one, I am still excited to see what happens next!

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