Review: A Torch Against the Night

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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.

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8 thoughts on “Review: A Torch Against the Night

  1. Interesting. I thought it could be cool to see the characters travel a bit more in this series. Unfortunately I didn’t really love the first book, so I decided not to continue reading.

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    1. What was it about the first book that you didn’t like? I found it hard to get into the Blackcliff setting, and everything seemed very rushed and slapped together plot-wise… I enjoyed Elias enough to keep reading to try the second book though haha

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      1. I thought it was kind of flat, both the characters and the setting. I also thought Blackcliff wasn’t well-described. We seemed to see very few of the people who supposedly live there. I couldn’t help comparing it to Tamora Piece, who manages to show readers a fairly big school and introduce them to more than two or three main characters, without it being overwhelming.

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      2. I think you finally put into words what I’ve been struggling to think of about this book haha very flat! I read both An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night in the middle of reading Throne of Glass, and by comparison the characters and world-building are very flat and almost shallow seeming.

        Tamora Pierce was the author that started my love affair with fantasty 🙂

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      3. Oh, good! I felt a bit alone in not loving the book. I’ve seen people particularly mention the world-building as a good point. But I think it’s one of those things that’s exciting in theory (Roman-inspired!) but not so great in practice.

        I was obsessed with Tamora Pierce in middle school! She’s definitely been influential in my reading.

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  2. You know, Laia’s relationship with her brother is something I felt was missing in the first one. I really wanted to know more about him because I wanted to be just as invested in him as Laia was. I hear you when it comes to ships. Sometimes keeping two people apart works, but other times it just feels forced. May check this one out from the library, thanks for the review!

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    1. That’s exactly it! Other than the opening scene of the book, you never have any real insight into Laia’s brother other than the standard “sibling-love” that is sprinkled in Laia’s thoughts. It made it very difficult to see him as ‘worth it’ during all of the action in a Torch Against the Night. Still highly recommend it though! There was some great character growth. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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