A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT is book two in Tahir's series
An Ember in the Ashes. This book picks us right
where EMBER IN THE ASHES left off, so make sure you read
them in order. This is a gritty fantasy with plenty of
twisty turns of plot and agony of emotion. Tahir's world
just sucks me in!
Seventeen-year-old Laia grew up with one rule for survival:
Never challenge the Empire. Then her brother was arrested
for treason and carted off to a horrific prison. Laia is
determined to save her brother. The price of help from the
rebels is to risk her life to infiltrate the Empire's
greatest military academy as a spy. There she meets Elias,
a young elite solider who is the son of the brutal and
abhorrent Commandant of the Empire's military. Elias hates
the Empire just as much as Laia, even more now that he has
lost his best friend and fellow soldier Helene to the
control of the sadistic Emperor Marcus. Laia and Elias are
fleeing their military pursuers while making their way
toward the prison that holds Laia's brother. Helene is now
compelled by her force-sworn oath to kill Elias, and is in
There is much so much tension in this brutal story. There
are lots of cunning plots and crafty counterplots and heart-
breaking betrayals. There's even a brief love triangle.
There's a lot packed into this book, and I found myself
racing through it not daring to breathe because I had to
know what would happen just after the next turn of each
page. There is an amazing strength of character shown by
so many of the individuals in Torch. Even the evil Empire
characters are so skillfully rendered that they dance off
the page. Tahir's A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT will capture
your heart and leave you limp from the adrenaline rush in
this Romanesque military fantasy.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt
the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and
undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most
secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the
key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to
help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last
chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia
and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to
outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the
merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most
heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the
Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of
her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias
Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and
kill them both.