Review – A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title A Torch Against the Night

Author Sabaa Tahir


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.

Release Date August 30, 2016

Initial Thoughts

I couldn’t wait to start this book. I finished An Ember in the Ashes at about 11pm and started A Torch Against the Night immediately after. This series is so addicting.

Some Things I Liked

  • Helene’s POV. YES! This was exactly what I wanted and I got it. I love her story and her inner monologues. She’s definitely my favorite character.
  • Heist elements. I loved that this story featured a prison break and I loved all of the action that it brought.
  • THAT PLOT TWIST! Honestly, I thought the character in question was no good from the jump, but I did not see that twist coming. I was betrayed, but in the best way!
  • Helene as almost a Cinderella story. That’s a bit of a stretch but I loved that Helene always felt a bit removed from her family. Her status as the Blood Shrike made her feel like she had to be an outsider and I loved seeing her family, and her father in particular, rally around her and constantly reminder her that she is a member of Gens Aquilla. Loyal to the end.

Favorite Quotes

“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.”

“Don’t look so worried. Most successful missions are just a series of barely averted disasters.”

Series Value

I’m officially obsessed with this series. It’s no secret that I already read the rest of the series and again, even if I hadn’t already read it, I’d definitely keep reading. It’s phenomenal.

Final Thoughts

I loved this book. The addition of Helene’s POV was exactly what I wanted. That’s literally exactly what I said when I finished An Ember in the Ashes. I wanted Helene’s POV and I got it. I love this series.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir – **whispers** it just keeps getting better, keep reading!
  • Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen – if you enjoyed the legion and Roman inspiration in this series as well as the multiple POVs, try this series. Book 3 as well as a prequel novella are set to come out early in 2021.

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