4.5 out of 5 stars
Ooer, I loved this book! It picks up right where An Ember in the Ashes left off, and proceeds apace until you’re tearing off the back cover looking for the third installment.
Goodreads: A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
This portion of the story begins with Laia and Elias fleeing Serra, the Marital army on their heels. The events at the end of the first book have left the empire in upheaval. The Commandant lives, still hunting both Elias and Laia. Joining the chase is Helene, Elias’ best friend and fellow mask, now right hand to evil, desperate Emperor Marcus. As Laia leads them across the desert toward Kauf prison to free her brother Darin, the story turns more supernatural on nearly every page. The world of the story expands on every page, revealing new and surprising magical aspects of each character. Powers manifest, secrets are learned – and shared, sometimes by accident. As a reader, it’s thrilling to wonder how these will come together to eventually defeat (one assumes) the Martial empire.
Laia’s character is more straightforward in this book. Her determination, leadership ability and focus were honed in the first installment. Elias, while complicated in Ember, continues to deepen here as his fate takes a dark twist. But the real star of this book is Helene, no longer a supporting character but a star, struggling with morality and loyalty. My guess is that she’s the key to all this, the stone that will tip the tale either for or against our heroes. She’ll be a hero herself, or become an outstanding villain.
We’ll have to wait till 2018 for book 3, and I see there will be a 4th book in the series as well! Paramount Pictures bought the film rights… that’s promising, I guess. I can’t think of a recent YA series adaptation they’ve done, and hopefully the industry has learned it’s lesson to only split final books into two films if the material truly warrants it. (Deathly Hallows: Yes. Twilight: Maybe. Hunger Games: Probably not. Divergent: God, no.) Many book-to-film deals never result in movies, though, so here’s hoping we actually get to meet Elias and Laia on the big screen. Who do you think would make good casting choices?