A Torch Against The NightA Torch Against The Night
Author : Sabaa Tahir
Series : An Ember In The Ashes
Genres : Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : August 30th 2016 by Razorbill

Synopsis : 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.


I’ve read this book back in January and just wrote  the review, so it’s gonna be shorter than usual !

So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.


It’s the sequel to An Ember In The Ashes that I LOVED. And this sequel didn’t disappoint ! It starts right where AEITA finished. Laia and Elias are on the run while Helene tries her best to be the perfect Blood Shrike she’s expected to be.

I really enjoyed this book ! There’s a dash of supernatural and it’s a great addition ! This book is fast paced and so nerve-wracking ! The stakes are so much higher in this book. And it’s even more sinister than the first book.

Death, love, epic journey, plot twists ; I enjoyed ever minute of this epic ride !

Another thing I really enjoyed is Helene’s POV. I didn’t really like her in the first book, she was annoying, in my opinion. With this installment, I learned to appreciate her. She’s such a great character !

Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier.

I also loved learning more about the world ! The world-building is really great. I was kind of afraid of reading this book to be honest. I really loved An Ember In The Ashes and I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy this one that much. But it didn’t suffer from the “second book syndrome” at all !

The plot twists really surprised me ! Really, I was on the edge on my seat while reading this book ! Really nerve-wracking as I said earlier ! I must confess, some parts kind of crept me out !

Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.


  • Elias is so selfless ! It’s almost unbelievable how devoted he is to Laia and her mission, saving her brother.
  • Helene musts face loads and loads of dilemma now. I think I understand her more now. Her POV is very interesting ! Her situation, the choices she has to make, it’s unbearable. And yet she resists.
  • Laia, I liked her less than in the previous book. She is still stubborn and dedicated to her mission, but she lacks her fierceness at times ! Nevertheless I really enjoyed what we learned about her !

I won’t say more for two reasons : the first one, the obvious one is because I want to avoid spoilers. The other is that I read it months ago and that my memories are fading haha !

5 stars

Don’t lock yourself away from those who care about you because you think you’ll hurt them or they’ll hurt you. What point is there in being human if you don’t let yourself feel anything?

I totally recommend this book !


About the author

Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


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