A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT::SABAA TAHIR
RATING: 4 STARS
GENRE: FANTASY (ROMAN-BASED?)
SUMMARY: Laia and Elias are racing towards Kauf to attempt to spring Laia’s brother free. Helene is chasing after them, on orders to kill Elias from Marcus, the new evil emperor. And the Commandant is being a beeotch and pulling everyone’s strings, and is in turn being pulled by some mystical nasties. On top of all that, Darin, Laia’s brother, is undergoing some experimental torture by a creeper named the Warden. He’ll be lucky to have a brain that isn’t mush by the time his sister finally shows up.
**Full disclosure, I’m in Empire of Storms hangover mode right now, so everything in this review will be seriously tainted by the fact that Sarah J Maas has launched me over a cliff, into a deep dark abyss of feels that I will never climb out of.**
ANYWAY. This book. WOW.
I’ve had a soft spot for Laia since picking up An Ember in the Ashes last year. She’s very different from the swashbuckling, sassy female MC I’m usually drawn to, but I LOVE her quiet strength, her boundless hope even in the worst odds. And man are those odd’s bad in this book. BUT I felt that she was a litttttle too preoccupied with getting her brother out of Kauf (I know, I sound heartless). People keep dropping like flies, lives ruined and she’s just like “oh, but my brother.” What’s so great about him anyway? I know nothing about him as a reader, and therefore care very little. I get that he has the secret to beating the Martials/Masks, but it wasn’t highlighted enough in the book for me to really remember that… more just seemed as if Laia was being selfish.
And Elias… oh Elias. He’s the guy I wish eighteen year old me had met instead of the douchers I dated. He wants so badly to do right by everyone, despite the cruelty he has practically bathed in his entire life. I loved watching his and Laia’s relationship grow… albeit slowly. I wanted more SMUT! Also the reasoning behind Laia’s and Elias’ not being with each other for most of the book seemed more of a plot device than anything. That being said, I know book ships have to burn slow to keep reader’s interest and yada yada. MORE SMUT! (Again, I just read EOS in all it’s glorious smuttiness so my opinion is tainted..)
LOVED getting Helene’s POV in there too, though to be honest I feel like she’s holding me at arm’s length. Which in part could be because of her position as the only dang girl in the Masks (besides the Commandant)… and as a small, blonde chicka in the Army I totally get the whole acting tough and not letting anyone get to close deal.
Most of the story revolved around the characters all going somewhere, which let me get into the worldbuilding a bit more (loved the Tribal culture). A lot more folklore in this book as well, which mixed beautiful with the Romanesque world. LOVE IT ALL. Can’t wait for more in book three 🙂 🙂
All in all, highly recommended to everyone and their mother.