Photo taken from @beautifulbookland on Instagram
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I read An Ember in the Ashes quite a while ago and wasn’t too fussed on it. I mean, it was decent, but it didn’t knock my socks off, you know? So I wasn’t intending on reading the sequel, but I saw people talking about the series on tumblr and I literally can’t be left out of anything so OF COURSE I had to jump on the bandwagon.
And jump on the bandwagon I did. I have a new obsession.
Laia and Elias are on the run from the Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf, the Empire’s most notorious prison, to rescue her brother, and Elias has vowed to help her. The pair face obstacles in both human and supernatural forms – among those are the Commandant, Elias’s own mother, and the Blood Shrike Helene, his former best friend, who has been tasked to hunt the fugitives and bring them to justice.
After the events at the end of Ember (which, I admit, I had to look up on bookseriesrecap), we’re thrust into the action immediately.
Like, seriously. It was like shoving a toddler in the deep end of a swimming pool with no armbands
(I was the toddler)
After the initial panicked “wtf is going on?!”, I bloody loved it. I was riveted. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that the plot was quite slow at points but there honestly wasn’t a moment where I was bored. Sure, some people won’t enjoy this book as much because it’s basically all focused around traveling, but it worked for me.
Especially the Elias and Laia moments. I ship it hard.
A Torch Against The Night is told from three POVs: Elias, Laia and Helene. And I admit to being worried about Helene’s chapters because I didn’t really care for her in Ember. But I actually really liked her here. She spends so much time battling between her loyalty to Elias, her family and the Empire, but she never once mopes. She’s SUCH a strong character. There were points where I didn’t like her, mainly when she was talking about Scholar’s being a slave class, but she also shows her human sides a lot more. I really appreciated her character.
I also appreciated Laia’s character growth. She makes mistakes, and I didn’t enjoy seeing her switch from Elias to Keenan and back again, but I really feel hopeful for her character in the next book.
Elias…I can’t believe I have been sleeping on him this entire time. I LOVED HIM! His storyline broke my heart at times, but his strength and devotion were just incredible. He’s definitely my favourite character from this series. While I enjoyed Laia and Helene’s chapters, I did really love being in Elias’s head.
And I totally love him with Laia. I’ll be really disappointed if they aren’t endgame.
I’m going to need to reread Ember because there were some things that I couldn’t remember and couldn’t find reference to online. But despite this, I still adored this book! Sabaa’s writing is totally addicting, and there were times at the end of the book where my heart was racing like mad, I was so invested.
And if that’s not the sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.