Review of A torch against the night by Sabaa Tahir

Now based on my review of the first book one might think I wouldn’t continue the series but I felt it had potential to be something more and so I did… also because I was part of a read along on instagram… so yeah.

My view of the plot: We pick off right where we left off at the end of the first book (which is something that I’ve never seen before) and this time Laia is hell bent on getting her brother out of the worst prison, Kauf. And Elias is with her through and through.

Now that Marcus is Emperor, he forces Helene, the newest Blood Shrike a.k.a second in command, to hunt down Elias and so begins a great book.

To be honest, I’m glad I continued on to the second book of this series because I really enjoyed this book and here are the reasons why:


  1. Freaking Helene! We see chapters that are from her point of view and if you’ve read my review of the first book then you know I loved her the most. I absolutely love how fleshed out her character is, how smart she is and just the basic cog work of her brain is fascinating to me. She is not a lot like me yet I relate to her so strongly. I just want all of Helene.
  2. We get to see some world building: Finally! It was not a lot but it was a start. We got to see how other cities were scraping by, the deserts… and just some good old rebellious grandmas.
  3. More of the Supernatural: Something that I also enjoyed in the first book.
  4. The torture scenes: I personally feel like Sabaa Tahir should be given an Oscar, just for how morbid she can get. I freaking love it.
  5. The plot twists: There were a lot of plot twists, major and minor ones in this book but there only two that I didn’t see coming. For the sake of keeping this review spoiler free I’ll just beat around the bush and say, “what happened to Elias”, and “Keenan”. If you’ve read the book then you know what I’m talking about.

While I did love a great deal of this book, I did have some issues with it too, as usual.

  1. Not much happened: It felt really dragged. The thing that was supposed to happen, happened at the final pages of the book. I mean yes I was happy to see a lot of Helene but plotwise it was really going nowhere. The entire book was just focused on Laia and Elias and yes I know they are the main characters but since I didn’t give two shits about them, it bore me to death.
  2. Not enough world building: Like I said above, I could do with more information about their world.
  3. The romance: It pissed me off and felt out of place and a majority of the book was just revolving around that. If you’ve read my post on the romance genre then you know I’m not a sucker for romance.

Overall I just wanted more of the plot and Helene, obviously. I have heard that the third book is coming out next year so I’m really looking forward to that.

Tell me what you felt about this book! Did you love it? Hate it? Meh? Who’s your favourite character and will you be reading the next book in the series?

Lots of love and torture,



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