A Torch Against the Night


Title: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 2016
Page Count: 452
Age Recommendation: 14

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. ~ Goodreads

So, I waited a couple of days after finishing this book before I wrote the review. I was hoping it would “sink in” and I’d be able to thoughorly examine it. I don’t know if it was the sleep deprivation hindering my ability to create logical thoughts, but this book really wasn’t all that. Four days later, all I can say is this book did not sink in. Probably because there wasn’t anything that needed to sink in. I originally read the first book about two years ago, lost my library copy of this one, and finally got around to reading the bought copy of Torch Against the Night in face of a long car-ride. I’m not really sure how to format this review, just because there’s not much I can expand upon and I’m so tired so…


  • I liked the stakes
    • Everything about tis book is so intense and that just makes the stakes higher
    • Tahir is amazing at really setting the stakes high, and then pulling through when a character fails and makes them suffer
  • There are so many violent scenes (I remember this from the last book too)
  • Yikers this book was really violent
  • I like the main character mask dude, I don’t know if it’s because he’s really good at fighting or if it’s because he’s nice. Probably both
  • I liked a lot of the setting, and I really enjoyed the evil characters because they are all so twisted in so many ways. We don’t see a lot of evil scientists around in mainstream YA these days, and now I want to see more
  • I loved Elana or whatever the blonde girl’s name is
    • She’s so cool and deserved all the development she got
  • There’s really no “good guy” in this story, just slightly-less bad guys
  • I have NO IDEA what is going to happen next and there are so many potential routes
  • I’m excited to see where the story takes me!!
  • Even though I remembered like 0.5 of the important plot points of the last book I still was able to understand what was happening and there were nice little tidbits of info about the last book to help me out


  • The biggest issue I had with this book is it’s supposed to be like WOW impactful this is CRAZY I am SHOOK but I was not shook by the end
  • The writing style, for me, is really boring
    • Like I feel like it was too dense and, formal almost, for me to really get into it
    • The writing was unremarkable and made for less impactful reading
  • It didn’t hook me in, and it’s kind of a pain to read through sometimes
  • I’m not sure how much plot was in this book, but since I don’t remember too much, so I’m guessing nothing too important happened
  • Pretty good for setting up for the next book, which I guess is what the middle of a trilogy is supposed to do, but…
  • Eh


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.

What Does the Cat Think?


I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5!

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