A Torch Against the Night
An Ember in the Ashes Book 2
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.
“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.”
I was really disappointed with Torch Against the Night because Ember was so fantastic. I might have had high expectations but either way, it fell flat with Torch. Characters that I really enjoyed in the first book didn’t interest me as much in this book. I don’t know if it had to do with the book entirely or because I read my favorite book right before and I wasn’t over that world yet. I grew to really enjoy Laia’s point of view because of how strong she ended up being in Ember. It was really sad to see her slide back in her development. Even then, she didn’t hold much of my interest. I wanted her story to be more than just getting her brother out of Kauf. Helen’s point of view provided great insight to what was currently happening in the Empire but I wasn’t too fond of her point of view either.
“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.”
Whether it was bias or not, I only really enjoyed Elias’s point of view. His journey in this book was definitely hard. He went through so many things. We get to see his tribe and family that he grew up with and it was so refreshing. I loved the scenes with the tribes. It was beautiful and more interesting than what Laia had to do. Another thing about Elias? How unfair his story was and how Torch ended for him. I was so angry about what the author did with his story. He deserves much better after all that he suffered through. AND after all he’s done for Laia .. she still doubted him for some things. Just no. Seriously love him.
“Perhaps I have become so accustomed to the burden of secrets that I do not notice their weight until I am free of it.”
One of my main issues was the book digressing to the love triangle that seemed to have been solved at the end of Ember. I really didn’t like that it fell into that trope again. It really didn’t add anything to the plot but dramatics. There was a very good and major plot twist involving the love triangle and I would’ve loved it had I not been angered by the scene that previously transpired before the reveal *oh so cryptic*. The book was more or less slow for me, except with the tribe and the end at Kauf. I hope the third book really picks up and focuses more on what is happening with the Empire rather than just Laia and her brother.