A Torch Against the Night (Review)

Okay! Madelyn here! I gotta get this post done before I move in cause I wanna do another post and this one’s gotta get doneee!

So I finished A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. (Side note: It got really dark while I was writing this and I was like wtf. I’m going to need a torch against this darkness even though my keyboard and my screen give me enough light. I’m freaking blind in dim lighting.) It was great! I read it pretty slow though because…torture. Pain. I can’t take it.

Damn it. My dad interrupted me cause he wanted some conversation. Now I forgot what I was about to say. Does he not get that I have things to say? How inconsiderate. (I’m joking, please do not get me for being disrespectful. We’re Asian. We throw shade at each other every day. Being mean within the family is our thing. Or maybe it’s just us. We’re very weird. Ask Sarah. She spent a whole day with us once and I’m pretty sure she’s scarred. But hey, she didn’t see my dad pee on the neighbor’s plants cause he got offended.)

My side notes are too long here. I’m just gonna get on with it. Spoilers if you haven’t read An Ember in the Ashes. This is the second book.

Madelyn’s Sucky Plot Summary: Laia and (I stubbed my toe on my bookshelf, wtf. I just stretched my leg out) Elias have escaped the Empire…sorta. Ok. They escaped Blackcliff and now they’re on the run from the Empire as the most wanted fugitives. They’re trying to escape the deadly Martials with Helene, the new Blood Shrike, on their trails. Marcus is the new evil Emperor of the Empire and is doing his evil thing with trying to secure power and all since none of the Gens want him since he’s Plebian. There’s danger on all sides, so how will our heroes make it to Kauff and break Darin out of the most inescapable prison?

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I loved this book. It took me a long time to read because that’s because I couldn’t bear to see my babies go through so much pain. The Commandant was as evil as ever and there was Marcus and new characters were added to add to the suffering of the babies. I don’t know why I’m calling Elias who is 6’4 and 210lbs of pure muscle and killing power a baby, but he is. And super precious. Laia ain’t no baby either. She’s fierce with her determination and wanting to save others and make the world a better place.

So the action starts right from the first page and I feel like it does not stop. The action was great. I was like reading yet not wanting to read cause I was not wanting to watch any of the heroes die! It’s like watching a movie with your hands over your face but you peek between your fingers! It’s very suspenseful!

I remember that for some reason that I didn’t like Helene much in the first book but I liked her a lot better. She did not deserve to be in this position. She really was stuck in a bad place. I didn’t think of it much when Ember ended but wow. She was torn between taking down the man she loved in front of everyone or serving Marcus, the new Emperor who wants to make the Empire great again (haha. Sound familiar?) threatening to kill her family. I was just crying for her and at times, I delayed reading her POV. Like I would see that her POV is next so I would just stop there and take a break and ready my mind before reading her suffering! Sabaa is really good at making these characters go through so much turmoil!

The racism is real in here though (and in real life. Stay woke, guys). The Commandant (and the Nightbringer) is the person who really wants to make the Empire great again (haha. Sound even more familiar?) by ridding the Empire of Scholars. And their revolt at the end of Ember gives her a very good reason to just run around and kill off any free Scholars. Cause the Martials think themselves as the higher race or people. But even then, within the Martials, there as a class discrimination with the Gens and the Plebians. The Tribesmen were above the Scholars but below the Martials and they were subject to Martial law (haha, I’m laughing but I shouldn’t cause of my kinda pun) when they suspected Elias would go hiding there and it hurt to see all these people wanting to have a good time at their festival but the Martials were crashing their party.

I honestly felt so betrayed at one point and you’ll see once you read. Cause I was liking this character then BAM. I was suspecting that character then I was like “nah”. What a sly one. Total Slytherin. (I’m Slytherin, by the way. But I’m a sweet little gal who can’t hurt a fly. Ok. I am merciless with a fly swatter but you know what I mean.)

“Secrets are a snake’s way of doing business.” “And snakes survive,”

Anyways, the characters were lovely, as always. Cinnamon roll that could kill a man Elias didn’t deserve all that. Neither did Laia or Helene. Or Izzi. But hot potato, where did Cook come from with all that prowess?

The writing was beautiful. I love all the quotes that were very inspirational from this book. It really moved me and helped me get more quotes to go along with the pictures I post on my photography account (@snorting.pics on Instagram).

“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.”

“Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don’t lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier.”

“Perhaps grief is like battle: After experiencing enough of it, your body’s instincts take over. When you see it closing in like a Martial death squad, you harden your insides. You prepare for the agony of a shredded heart. And when it hits, it hurts, but not as badly, because you have locked away your weakness, and all that’s left is anger and strength.”

I’m excited for the next book but I think I’ll be doing the same slow reading and peeking from between my hands when I’m reading cause of all the suffering and torture and moral dilemmas (had to search up how to spell dilemma). I’m glad it comes out in the spring, otherwise I’d fail my first semester of college. And have you seen the new covers? What do you think of them? I think they’re pretty epic looking and it gives me Assassin’s Creed vibes!

Anyways, since I sorted a certain character in into a Hogwart’s House, help me sort the rest. I think Elias is Hufflepuff and Laia is Gryffindor. Helene is hard. I want to say Ravenclaw? She’s pretty smart.

Funny thing: right when I finished, I checked Twitter and Sabaa retweeted something about the Commandant of Marine Corps and I instantly thought of Keris and I was like “What is she up to now?”. Follow me on Twitter if you want @SnortLife I should probably stop it with the social media advertising. I’m a mess. Too much social mediaaa.

I had something clever to end it but my sister came in for advice on her science fair project and I totally forgot. She’s not very creative. Haha, called her out. Okay. Go on out there and make the Empire great again, guys.

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