But you, Helene Aquilla, are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn.
We pick up A Torch Against the Night where An Ember in the Ashes left off. Laia and Elias are running for their lives, the Commandant is up to her usual evil ways, and Laia’s brother is trapped inside Kauf prison.
Like all traditionally published YA novels, this was well-written and suspenseful, and it had me wanting to turn page after page even when I was exhausted. I really enjoyed the incorporation of the Tribes into the story, the relationship development between Elias and Laia, and the struggle that Helene, now Blood Shrike of the empire, goes through in trying to choose between her friend and her duty to the empire. Honestly, the development of Helene’s character in this book was in large part why this book rated so high with me.
However, there were a couple of story lines that did not feel complete to me, and I found that a bit surprising considering how many hands this went through prior to publication. I think this book may have tried to accomplish way too much in too few pages.
- The love triangle from book one carries over, but it’s sketchy and thoughtlessly handled.
- Not nearly enough time is spent explaining the world of the jinns and the Waiting Place, which I assume will play a large role in book three (or at least, I hope it does).
- That twist at the end felt a little cheesy, but all right I’ll go with it.
Despite these issues, I still enjoyed it very much, and want to know what happens with Elias and Laia in book three.
I picked this book to fulfill the Read Harder Challenge #20, A Book with a Cover You Hate. I know why Tahir wanted to change the cover design, and I respect that reasoning. I just think the execution (specifically the single color and the Throne of Glass knock-off style) was poorly done.
Which one do you prefer?