Review: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

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. 

My Review

After absolutely loving An Ember in the Ashes, I was more than ready to get my hands on this second book! And can I just say: WOW! Tahir most certainly does not disappoint! A Torch Against the Night picks up right where the first book left off, with Laia having just freed Elias from execution under the terms that he promise to help free her brother Darin from the most guarded prison in the land.

While reading this, I needed to know that everything would be ok, because there were just so many heart wrenching events that occurred. Tahir is definitely cut throat when it comes to how far a character will go to get what they want. I would definitely not categorize this book as Young Adult just because of how brutal some of the killings are. Throughout the story, I kept freaking out over how things would possibly turn out in their favor, and honestly some things went to hell so quickly. I think Tahir utilized these terrible events to further drive the need to see the protagonists eventually succeed. I feel as if I have just as much of a burning need for vengeance as the main characters have.

Laia and Elias’ relationship evolves so much more in this second edition, which was wonderful to finally experience. They make one another stronger, and it is plain to see as their stamina is continuously tested. There was one particular plot twist that was revealed that absolutely blew my mind and changed everything for events to come. I am reeling after finishing this book, both from joy over certain romantic developments, and anticipation of the payback that is to come! Unfortunately, I have to wait till “bleeding” 2018 to read book three, which hurts my soul in every possible way!!

I would most definitely recommend you read book two in A Torch Against the Night!! Pick it up on Amazon here!

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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Goodreads Summary:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Review

I have heard all the hype on An Ember in the Ashes and have seen it all over bookstagram, but I never really knew what it was about until I picked it up! I actually have had this book checked out for over a month and had to keep renewing it until I was able to finally read it! And wow was it worth the wait!!! I absolutely loved this book!

The story follows the two perspectives of Laia and Elias, it alternates chapters between the two, which got pretty frustrating let me tell you. Almost every chapter ended on a cliff hanger and you had to wait to see the others POV to get back to that, it was great when the two characters began to finally interact with one another because you were able to learn more as you went. Anyway, Laia is a slave and Elias is a soldier, who happens to be the son of the leader of the army. However, things are a lot more complicated then a division of class between these two characters. Laia is forced into becoming a spy for the resistance in order to save her imprisoned brother, and Elias must make the most difficult decision of his life when he is thrown into a series of Trials made to test the very fabric of his soul. Their lives become remarkably intertwined as the stakes rise higher and higher.

The plot twists and developments in this book were non-stop!! I was so completely hooked from the start! The characters were beautifully structured and the story was very fast paced. The relationship between Elias and Laia was so endearing and very differently formed compared to past books. Though this book is not heavily romantic, it added greatly to the meaning of the content. The world that Tahir created is unlike any I’ve encountered. I cannot wait to see what comes next!! I am so eager to get my hands on book three!

If you are looking for the next great adventure, filled with twists, and epic characters, then I would most definitely recommend you read An Ember in the Ashes! Pick it up on Amazon here!