A Torch Against the Night | 5 star review
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #2
Also in this series: An Ember in the Ashes
Published by Razorbill
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.
If you don’t know, A Torch Against the Night is the second book in a series and you should definitely check out my An Ember in the Ashes book review first!
I don’t even have words for what this book made me feel, it genuinely broke me. I once again listened to it on Audible and I’m so glad I did. I love the narrators and what they have managed to do with this book. I feel so drawn into the world and I feel a real connection to the characters and their emotions. My heart breaks when their’s do. A Torch Against the Night was an emotional rollercoaster, one that I never wanted to get off and one that I haven’t quite recovered from now that I am.
I think the beauty of this book (besides Elias) is the characters themselves. The way they deal with each of their own challenges really made A Torch Against the Night what it was. A truly astounding piece of writing. Can we also please talk about all the different politics that take place throughout this book, I can not believe how much was packed into this book and how well it worked. The twists and turns in this book left me crying. I’ve never been so drawn into a world before, and I was sat on the edge of my seat desperately trying to figure out what was going to happen next and wish against what I thought was going to happen.
I loved the different mystical elements that were brought into the story, it deepened an already immensely rich world and added more and more culture and depth. I would have liked to see more of the creatures all the way through, but I think they’re being saved for a later book and I cannot wait! If the next book is anything near as good as this one I think I’m going to be more than bowled over! I also think that Laia found her feet in this book, she learnt a lot about herself and also the consequences of her actions and decisions. Which was a welcomed growth from An Ember in the Ashes where she could come across as being a little immature.
Plus this book features chapters from the POV of Helene which showed her to be far more human than what was previously shown in the other books. I think this is the book where her hard exterior started to melt away and we as readers go to know her more vulnerable and indecisive side. She was shown to be a human who could make mistakes and she didn’t have all the answers. It was a breath of fresh air.
If you couldn’t tell by my rambling fangirling review. I would recommend this entire series in a heartbeat. I adore the characters and the story and everything about the world. I can NOT wait to carry on the series and see where the characters go next. Hopefully, it stays as amazing as the last books have been!
Have you read this series? What were your favourite parts? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments!