My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh, I loved this book so much, the ending did this to me… How on earth am I going to cope with book 3?
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I’m reviewing A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, Book 2) by Sabaa Tahir. This is an Amazon Vine review of a free book. Here are my thoughts:
^^The story continues from book one, An Ember in the Ashes, were Laia the scholar girl is now on the run with Elias a Blackcliff guard and Mask of the Empire, who has now taken it upon himself to protect Laia and help her in the search and the return of her captured brother. But can a Blackcliff guard really be trusted?
^^ In this second book of the series, Laia’s mission to find and free her brother from certain death in prison continues and this time we also hear it form Helene’s point of view. Helene is Elias’ friend and has been for years, unfortunately, she is also now in charge of finding Elias who is AWOL and killing him upon sight. I cannot give the reason why away, otherwise I’ll spoil the plot for you, so let’s just say if you enjoyed the first book, you’ll love this one. At least, that’s what I hope for you. I certainly did.
^^ I can honestly say I fell in love with the whole Laia and Elias ‘will-they-won’t-they’ love story, which has now become an integral part of the plot. They’re just made for each other, even though at first it appeared they came from very different backgrounds and should be enemies. But with so much going on around them, they don’t have much time for love. They don’t even have much time for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, this is not just about romance, far from it. There is so much more to this book than that.
^^ Once again, Sabaa Tahir has thrilled me and I have thoroughly enjoyed the second part of Laia’s quest to free her brother, against all odds, and now with the help of Elias. The main characters are detailed and well thought out. I love how Helene is a friend who has become the enemy, but out of loyalty to the Emperor and her new role, not betrayal. Imagine being in love with your life-long friend, both warriors and Masks, only to know that when you next meet one of you has to die. This is how the relationship between Helene and Elias has turned out, even though they both still have feelings for each other (true friendship never dies) the rules of their world dictate how they must act. Whatever happens, it’s no longer their choice.
^^ I also really like the development of the magical element, and love their world, even though danger lurks around every corner, it makes for an exciting read as you never know what’s going to happen next. One thing I could be sure of, when reading this, our main characters would have obstacles galore put in their way, before they can have any kind of reprieve.
Overall: How on earth Sabaa Tahir managed to write these two mammoth books (with a third in the pipeline – out in May 2018) and still get them to flow seamlessly, I’ll never know! What I do know is Sabaa makes writing a fantasy story of these epic proportions appear to look so easy. So much work must have gone into writing this series. Her world-building skills are fantastic, with different cultures, factions and well developed characters each with their own agenda — I’m honestly in total awe of her talent. I’m sure this author will have a very long and happy career ahead of her and I cannot wait to get to read the third book in the series. I’m literally chomping at the bit, waiting for the follow up. And what an ending! I literally shed a tear I was so happy. 😃 What could possibly happen next? I can’t wait to find out…
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