Talk. About. Mixed. Up. Emotions!
Hey Pals!! Today, I am doing a spoiler-free review of A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir.
It’s been quite a long since I wrote a full book review. Hope I’m not out of practice. I just finished this book day before yesterday so we’ll see how I do 😁. So anyways, let’s begin.
Note: This review will have spoilers for An Ember in the Ashes which is the first book in the Ember Quartet, but it will NOT have spoilers for A Torch Against the Night.
Check out my review for An Ember in the Ashes here.
For those of you who don’t know, this is the second book in the Ember Quartet which is narrated from three perspectives and follows the events after the Fourth Trial, where Elias and Laia are running for their lives as fugitives, trying to escape being caught by Martial Soldiers. Laia’s mission is to break into the Empire’s most safely guarded prison- Kauf, to rescue her brother Darren, and Elias is doing all he can to protect and help her, which obviously includes risking his own life
cause apparently, life means nothing to book characters. Meanwhile Helene, who has recently been given the title of The Empire’s new “Blood Shrike” , is given a mission of her own by Emperor Marcus in which she has to either find and kill Elias and Laia…, or watch her family die.
My Thoughts in a Gist:
I kept on delaying reading this book for as long as I can, but then everybody was raving about this series so much that I finally picked it up, and well….I was disappointed! But the book wasn’t bad, hope that makes sense. Like, I guess it was worth it. It’s worth a shot 😁.
My Major Issue With This book-
Throughout the majority of this book, we are just following the characters on their journey as they try to keep themselves alive and nothing much really happens. Like I for one, listened (yeah, listened not read, audiobook lover here) to several parts of the story without paying much attention, and honestly, it didn’t bother me much as several scenes in this book were not that necessary.
And I’m not saying that any of these scenes were boring or bad, they just felt kind of monotonous, and long and tiring.
Laia and Elias! I honestly just freaking find them faaaaine. Like I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them either. I guess I was pretty mad at Elias for basically helping Laia in her plot at the risk of his own life!! Like okay, I get it, you love her. But I’m just…ugh, it just didn’t feel right.
The romance didn’t feel right either. Let’s talk about that then. Elias and Laia were never really my ship even in book one. They just felt like they were put together for the sake of plot. I was always more of a Keenan fan. He had a dark, shady side to him that I really liked.
Yeah, hot and mysterious guy lover here.
I totally love Helene though. Like aaaah, that girl has gone through so much. I mean, what’s not to like!? Okay, Laia and Izzy and all the others have also gone through a lot, but I still love Helene. She deserves the world! She rocks. I just hope she has a happy ending. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻.
I also really liked all the other side characters. Izzy and Cook. And I have to say, Tahir did an amazing job at the villains. Marcus, the Commondant and even the Warden! All were amazingly crafted characters.
So yeah, not me liking everyone in the story but the main characters 😐.
What I Really Loved:
The plot twists! Truth be told, I was aleeady spoiled for the “armlet related” plot twist and one more later to come in the series, by two good blogger friends, hope they both know that I’m talking about them 😃.
Anyways 😂, if you’re reading this book, and just in case you are waiting for things to happen, a major plot twist is on the way, so you can wait for that. And the chapters from Helene’s perspectives are also pretty cool.
I also really loved the ending. It was kind of emotional and sweet. Also, I was like OH SO HAPPY that (here comes a one line spoiler, skip to the next paragroah) Elias and Laia had finally stopped pushing each other away 🤩. Okay, I know that I just said that the romance felt kinda forced, but even I can’t deny that the two have hone through a lot and they deserve each other.
The narration was also pretty amazing! This book was narrated by Aysha Kala, Jack Ferrar and Samantha Sutherland. I didn’t like Elias’ narration that much, but the other two were great.
This book had a lot of ups and downs for me, but overall, it was worth it, and I’m planning to read the third book soon. I recommend this book to you if you enjoyed the first one a lot. But if you found it kinda meh, I suggest you do not continue the series.