Aug 18, 2016

A Torch Against the Night by @sabaatahir {Review}

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
(An Ember in the Ashes, #2)
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill; 464 pages
A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

If you have NOT read An Ember in the Ashes please read with caution. There may be some spoilers that were unavoidable. Proceed with caution . . .

My friend read this before me and she told me it was good but nowhere near as good as Ember so I went in already thinking bad thoughts but you know what? I think I might have loved it more than Ember. It’s close because they’re both amazing but this one . . . it did more to me emotionally.

There is one thing vastly different from the first book or at least, it felt different. It was very dark and very depressing. A good half, if not two thirds of this book was talking about death and dying and just depressing things. It was really bringing me down which is probably why it took me so long to read this book (that and life). You can only read so much about death before you have to put it down and go do something happy.

There are things that happen in this book that I wasn’t happy about but I wasn’t also mad about either. I was indifferent but then later, I was furious. Like, I would punch a certain character right below the belt, if I was in this book (and still alive, of course). But since it’s a book and I can’t punch anyone anywhere, I’ll just give the book the middle finger instead. It makes me feel better, like maybe they saw it and knew it was directed at them.

I love Laia, I really do. When she loves, she loves fiercely. I’m still in awe of her determination and devotion to her brother. It feels, a lot in this book, that she’s fighting a losing battle.

We find out something and me, as the reader, my heart shattered. I literally felt it breaking inside of me. But then, BUT THEN a few chapters later, hope is breathed back in to us. That feeling I got when I read that chapter. It felt like weight was lifted from my chest and I could breathe again. I’m telling you, this book really made me feel things; things I don’t remember feeling in the first book.

Elisa. I love him. I’ve loved him and I will continue to love him. He’s something special. To be raised as a Mask and to have the demon mother he has – well, I’ve got nothing but love and respect for him.

Speaking of respect, Helene or the Blood Shrike, as we know her now . . . I dreaded her chapters. I almost skipped them because I never cared for her in Ember and I really didn’t care to read her chapters but I knew they’d be important to the story so I tore through those as quick as possible so I could get back to Elias or Laia chapters. Let me tell you though; I may not like her (still) but I understand her and I have so much respect for her. I like her a bit more but she’s still a character I could without. But her chapters became easier, her personality became less annoying and her story engrossed me. So kudos to the author for nearly turning me around on a character I had wished dead in Ember.

I can’t wait for more because this book was everything.

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