A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101998878
Characteristics: 452 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Call Number: Y TAHIR, S


From Library Staff

Sequel to "An Ember in the Ashes" this story delves farther into the magical world, grows the characters and expands the plot in ways you didn't see coming.

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Nov 21, 2017

Another good book, I enjoyed it and felt like it was an interesting direction to take the storyline. I may still like the first book better but this one had some cool qualities to it as well, such as plot twists, stress-inducing scenes, and tons of sadness, betrayal and brutality; all expected components after the tone was set in book 1.
I'm not sure where the story is heading but I almost feel like there's a rebellion uprising or something on its way, it will be neat to see what happens to the remaining characters.

Sep 27, 2017

This book was so hard to get through. It was unnecessarily long and very repetitive. It took Elias and Laia FOREVER to get out of Black Cliff, and then they stopped at two other places... they didn't even end up getting to Kauf untili 2/3 through the book, by which point I was almost ready to call it quits. The addition of Helene's point of view only dragged out the story and didn't really add anything new. Also, and I can't stress this enough, it was SO violent. It felt like there was someone dying or suffering on every page turn, to the point where I had to pause the audiobook and turn on some music to get a reprieve. If it wasn't the violence, it was the angst. This ridiculous love shape (not really a triangle because there's more people involved) just dragged on and on with little satisfaction. The book was written well enough, I suppose, but I thought if I heard "ten hells" or "bleeding skies" again, I thought I was going to hurl. The Nightbringer and Soul-Catcher parts were interesting, but brought little satisfaction as Keris and the Warden were so vile they made me almost DNF the book. I might consider continuing this series in the far future, when I've recovered from this one- if only to know what happens to Elias- as he's the only character in the story with any value at all.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 14, 2017

If possible even better than the first. Laia grows so much as a character. Although the book is told in three voices, it is, in the end, her story. Both Elias and Helene must deal with choices, betrayals, and the outcomes, but they have been trained from a young age to deal with these things. Although terrible things happen, they seem to fall back on their training to push through. Laia is the one who has to grow into her potential, and she does so amazingly. A beautifully written novel about loyalty in its many forms and how loyalty can turn to ugliness. I also have to add that this story had a twist that I totally did not see coming but that was not dropped on us without warning. Well played, Tahir. Well played...

Aug 17, 2017

Can't wait for book 3! It is scheduled to come out April 2018.

Aug 09, 2017

What a roller-coaster of excitement and suspense! I really adore Laia and I love how her relationship with Elias isn't forced at all. Her development across this second book is just as great as the first one, although I have to say the first one was a bit more interesting to read. The plot gets a bit more sinister as several things happen right from the start, and readers are left shocked at what the author has planned. The back and forth between narratives play on a bigger picture of deception in the nation, orchestrated by an unknown. I would recommend this for readers over 14 years of age for content and enjoyment.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Chapel_Hill_JessicaO Jul 23, 2017

A Torch Against the Night is the long-awaited second installment in author Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes series. After devouring both books in less than two weeks, it is safe to admit this is a strong recommendation from me.

The Ember in the Ashes series is definitely the next big YA hype train you should jump on. The series follows the story of Laia, a young woman who lives in the Martial Empire (Picture Ancient Rome). This oppressive and brutal regime enslaves many people, stifles dissent and is generally all-around terrible. While the first book can be dark and oppressive, it is the characters that bring forth the hope in the story. Torch Against the Night basically picks up right where Ember left off.

The Ember series is written in that alternating character point-of-view format that you probably already either love or hate if you’re a regular reader of YA fiction. In this follow-up, we get three alternating points of view from Laia, Elias and Helene, broken up into four sections. The short chapters and constant switch between perspectives help readers better understand the inner-workings of each character. And Elias’ best friend and fellow Empire soldier Helene Aquilla is finally given her own voice in Torch...no shocker that she is fascinating!

All in All I thought this was a very successful sequel. Tahir managed to surprise me at several turns in the book. I have so many questions that I’m hoping the next two books will answer and not disappoint.

Jun 28, 2017

Very much enjoyed this book. Laia grows so much in this book!

JCLChrisK May 18, 2017

A sequel worthy of its predecessor. Continues and expands the ongoing story, increasing the stakes and costs. Elaborate and gripping. Top notch.

Feb 24, 2017

Found the ending a bit confusing but, in general, it was another great read with unique twists and turns.

AL_KELSEY Feb 14, 2017

As far as sequels go, this was very well done. Not only did Tahir build on her already incredible characters, but she introduces a few new people, as well as building the dark force taking over. Laia is a wonderful character--and while she makes very obvious mistakes, she is still growing and Tahir makes it clear she is still building her character. I can't wait to see what's in store for her next!

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Apr 23, 2017

mauve_ant_91 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 27, 2017

Pipthekat thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 06, 2017

white_horse_641 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Oct 18, 2016

The Trials are over, and Marcus has been crowned the new Emperor of the Martials, with Helene Aquilla sworn to serve as his Blood Shrike despite her reservations. Elias and Laia flee the capital on a mission to free her brother, Darin, who is being held in Kauf prison. With the knowledge of how to forge Serric steel, he has the potential to change the course of the Scholar rebellion. They must figure out how to outwit Kauf’s sadistic Warden to free Darin, assuming he is still alive. But first they will need traverse half the Empire to get to him, and Helene Aquilla is on their heels. Now sworn as Blood Shrike, and with her family as hostages, she is charged with killing the traitor Elias Veturius in order to secure Marcus’ rule.


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Dec 05, 2016

Sexual Content: Way more than the first book. If this was a movie it would be rated R!


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Oct 18, 2016

Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.

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