2 September 2016

Review #518: Blog Tour of A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”

----Beth Revis

Sabaa Tahir, an American bestselling author, pens the much awaited sequel to her bewitching YA fantasy book, An Ember in the Ashes called, A Torch Against the Night where the author continues to weave the adrenaline rushing and edgy adventure of Laia and Elias, who have finally managed to escape the Blackcliff Military Academy as well as the wrath of the ruthless Commandant and an equally sadistic Emperor and are on a run and on a mission to break free Laia's brother from one of the most dangerous prison of their land.


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.

After escaping the Blackcliff Military Academy, Laia knows only one thing- no matter what she needs to break her poor brother, who is the key to the Scholar's long lost fight and war against the Martials, free from Kauf, a dangerous prison cell of her land, which is well known for its inhuman tortures on the prisoners. But Laia can't do it alone, she needs help. Elias has finally managed to break free from the curse of killing and torturing innocent human lives by not choosing or rather say failing to become the Emperor to the throne, and now that he has failed, the new sadistic Emperor Marcus is only interested in one thing- to execute Elias and Laia publicly, but he knows, he has the perfect help to do it for him. Helene, Elias' former best friend, ex-competitor from the Trials, former classmate and the current Blood Shrike, who will have to do anything for the Emperor, but killing Elias and Laia is the most difficult task for her, and when the Emperor holds her dear parents and her sisters' lives at the cost of those two traitors, Helene knows it in her heart, where her loyalty lies.

Yet once again the author doesn't disappoints with a story so enthralling that the readers will be forced to remain glued to the pages of this book amidst the tears in their eyes, the goosebumps on their skin, the bone-chilling fear in their hearts, the raging fire boiling deep in their souls and the longing for the two most sympathetic YA characters to become one soul. Yet once again Emberlings will find happiness and satisfaction through this tale. And yet once again, readers will exclaim, "Skies, what a story!"

The author's writing style is eloquent and emphatic and the readers will find it no trouble at all to comprehend with the author's story telling style. The narrative is highly absorbing and holds the power to suck the readers right into its flow. Told from the perspectives of the three main protagonists, the dialogues flow deep into the very soul of these three characters, that the readers will find it easy to contemplate with their feelings and thoughts. The pacing of the book is really fast as there is so much adrenaline rushing actions that won't let the readers to look away from the story. This time, too, the author unravels the story through multiple layers and unpredictable twists that will only keep the readers anticipating for the next unnerving event to occur that will finally left them shocked to the very core.

The fantasy world that the author created here is really well constructed, proper with sound logic and sense to make the readers believe in such a mystical universe's struggles and problems where one group of people (Martial) wants to eradicate the entire race of Scholar because they are aware and have insecure with the fact that there is someone among the Scholar who holds the knowledge of the key secret of their steel-craft and other such power. The readers will lose themselves in such an entrancing and striking universe, that has been inspired from the ancient Rome with an Arabic flair.

Yet once again, the characters, from this book, shine like diamonds in the rough, meaning they are extremely well developed, as the author, here, explores the deepest parts of their soul where their evil spirits and the good spirits fight against one another to keep them sane. The main character, Laia, founders from her old charm as her portrayal is not that powerful or striking enough to make the readers root for her. Laia makes a ton of mistakes, at times, the readers will feel enraged towards her actions, but then again, her flaws make her look strong among the rest of the characters. Laia doesn't evolve much in this book, she is like the same old person from the book who has lost her vigor a bit from the previous book. Elias, on the other hand, is a psychologically flawed human being, whose genuine and understanding demeanor will make the readers feel for such a lost soul who harbors some of the darkest secrets that will make the readers cry a river for him. Elias evolves a lot and bravely faces through all those twisted challenges and stands tall against the complicated nature of his own mother and his former best friend. Helene, here, is the star of the book, whose battles are extremely unpleasant yet painful enough to keep the readers rooting for her till the very end. Once again the love triangle might bore the readers and honestly, I feel like romance has very little to do in a story like this.

In a nutshell, this is an one-of-a-kind page turner that will keep the readers on their edges till the turn of the very last page that ends off with a huge bang and that will make the readers wishing desperately for the next story to appear magically. And yes this is one such magical yet alluring story that will give the readers a book hangover.

Verdict: A must read and a must buy to adorn your bookshelves.

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from the Penguin Random House for giving me an opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book. 

Read the review of An Ember in the Ashes

Author Info:
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. 
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1 comment:

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