“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."
Sabaa Tahir’s A Torch Against The Night
Within twenty four hours, I had completed the second book in Tahir’s trilogy. I have never devoured words in a book as fast and as hungry as “ A Torch Against The Night’’.
Set against the backdrop of Ancient Rome, Tahir’s high fantasy world continues with our protagonist Laia fighting to free herself from the chains that bind her to the Empire. Our antagonist, Elias has become one of the few heroes in the tale that help shape Laia, not as a person, but a character many readers will feel a connection to.
In “ A Torch Against The Night,” we follow our two heroes on a journey that isn’t to far removed from the original setting. Our heroes are running for their lives, but also running to save the ones they love. The aftermath of the Fourth Trial releases our heroes into Kauf, where they face the most dangerous journey of all; to go on with their lives or to save the ones they know are waiting for them at the end of the tunnel.
Laia’s desperation to reach her brother in the hopes to restore her family and the person she thought she was sees readers taken back to the girl who feared everything, and in some parts, stood for nothing. But time, and the harsh realities of the Empire and The Scholar’s survival all depend on Laia growing into the person she has always wanted to be; a heroin. One without the need of others encouraging her, without telling her what to do; Laia’s backbone becomes stronger and her voice becomes louder. Laia is determined to break out her brother, to restore her family’s honour, all the while; learning about the person she is.
Elia’s has come to terms with his demons, but there is a cost, that not even he could have envisioned, that will create a ripple within our heroes’ journeys. As the pebbles fall onto the water, and the ripples become tides, Elias and Laia will have to decide; is the past worth saving? And what does the future look like when there is so much smoke around them.
Helene, now the Emperors Blood Shriek is given a mission that will destroy everything she ever stood for. The ones she thought she loved and fought to protect will become the very pawns in a cruel Emperor’s Game. The faith of her family's bloodline rests in her hands and her ability to distinguish herself from the only person she had ever loved, Elias. As the battle rages on, both on the outside and the in, our three heroes are tested beyond measure to prove just what they are made off. An Ember in the Ashes has lit the light, now, the time has come for a torch in the night to light the rest of the way.
Review by Snjezana Bobic
An Ember in the Ashes #1 written by Sabaa Tahir
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