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A Torch Against the Night

(An Ember in the Ashes #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  134,160 ratings  ·  14,829 reviews
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. 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
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Razorbill
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Everythingat1once According to the author, the mask just covers half the face and it wraps around the back in a shape of a claw. I thought it was the whole face too but…moreAccording to the author, the mask just covers half the face and it wraps around the back in a shape of a claw. I thought it was the whole face too but that's what she said so... its her book so I guess half mask then. *Here is where i got this information: http://www.hypable.com/ember-in-the-a...(less)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  134,160 ratings  ·  14,829 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2016
I realize I am not staring into his eyes. I am staring into my future.
I see it for a moment. Pain. Suffering. Horror. All that I love, all that matters to me, awash in blood.

Oh my god. I loved it.

Last year, I read and enjoyed an advance copy of an unknown book from a debut author - An Ember in the Ashes. I sped through it, loved it, rated it five stars, and thought that was the end of that. On to the next one. Like most books I rate and review, I expected it to be forgotten in a sea of YA. B
Renée Ahdieh
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing

TORCH simply burns, in all the best ways. it's everything you've come to love and expect from the brilliance of Sabaa Tahir, except BETTER. twisty, turny awesomeness abounds on every single page. and you will not want to keep turning them until the tale is over.

the wonderful thing about A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT is that--though it never shies away from depicting cold brutality--the nuances of emotion are just as deeply felt. just as passionately rendered. you will yell at your favori
Christine Riccio
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You jump right into things in Torch and I loved it! Here's my full booktalk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkQME... ...more
The Burning Rose (Jess)
5/5 stars. I want to cry!
How do you understand that the book you just finished reading is a good book? Which is worth 5 whole stars, and maybe even more?
I'll tell you my opinion - you should feel it. You have to feel the characters, go through the experience they are going through. You have to feel that you are experiencing what is going on in the book with the characters.
It's a very great connection to a book, and it doesn't happen with most books. Usually, you just read the book from your poi
Andreea Pop
“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.”

A Torch Against the Night is the very glorious sequel I had expected from Sabaa Tahir. But what distinguishes itself from its prequel is the otherworldliness of it. The breath of Death on our characters' necks. The villain(s) that are evil incarnate. The idea of a prescribed destiny. The new abilities and powers. The demons, the stories, the souls -- everything combines with a well-built plot, an expanded universe and realistic, fla
Tharindu Dissanayake
"What in the skies was that?"

I really liked An Ember in the Ashes. Despite the minimal world building, and the present tense narrative, the plot was intriguing enough to make me start with A Torch Against the Night immediately, and I was really hoping this would improve upon the first book. For the first half of the book, it did feel that way. But then things started going downhill.

"Everything that has happened so far is the result of willpower, or sheer, dumb luck."

The 3-star rating does not me
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best YA fantasy & science fiction category 2016!

"Force won't work," Harper murmurs. "You need to outwit them. You need secrets."

"Secrets are a snake's way of doing business."

"And snakes survive."

i didn't love this as much as An Ember in the Ashes, but it's a seriously fun book regardless. the problem is that the first one was so strong, it's a tough act to follow. this one is certainly not lacking in action or worldbuilding or interesting characters -
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, owned
I'm really liking where this series is going! ...more
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

An Ember in the Ashes was one of my favourite books from the past few years so it's only natural that I counted down the days to the sequel. In fact, I found out my local book shop had it stocked a couple days before the UK release date, so I frantically ran over and recruited the bookseller to help me find it. Poor guy must have thought I was insane - I don't think I even brushed my hair I was so desperate to get my hands on it. Well,
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
M E.

Side effects if reading ATATN: dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, clammy skin, cold sweat, P A I N.


If you’ve read any of my updates, you’d know how terrified I was going into this- that I was expecting the worst.. and now I’m just sorry that I even doubted Sabaa Tahir. Because absolutely every part of this book was brutal, but also perfection.

All the best parts of An Ember in the Ashes were still a part of this story; the complexity of each and every chara
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2018-reads
I’m deeply, truly underwhelmed.

An Ember in the Ashes is one of my favorite YA fantasy debuts; Sabaa Tahir’s world was mesmerizing yet brutal, and it was so easy to lose myself in the bloody story of an Empire inspired by Greek and Roman culture. Sadly, in A Torch Against the Night I didn’t manage to fully grasp that flare of magic I was confident I’d find.

“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.”

A Torch Against the Night follows Elias and Laia’s quest to free L
Sean Barrs
Sep 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star-reads, fantasy
To keep up with the times, and not fall into a dark chasm of old school fantasy, nineteenth century literature, Buddhist philosophy and postcolonial theory, I make sure I read one popular Y.A book a year. I mean I’ve got to keep my cool trendy hip image going right? I wouldn’t want you guys to think I’m some kind of reclusive romantic poetry obsessed bookworm who sits around reading books all day then writes about them on a book review website. Cool, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

So I did have
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
is it possible to be simultaneously infuriated AND absolutely enamoured with a book? because im stuck in a constant struggle between wanting to throw this book across the room and clinging onto it for dear life. its making me begin to feel very emotionally unstable.

just to give you an idea, heres a basic summary of my reactions whilst reading this book:

*laia does something*
me: ughhhhh. you stupid, stupid girl. c’mon, get it together - im rooting for you!

*elias does something*
me: noooooo. i c
Sep 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dystopia, fantasy, dnf

Giving this book 2 stars largely feels like I'm being liberal. I'd rate this less than one if not for Helene's chapters. The story was mostly confined to roads, as the leads barrel their way, away from the Empire's clutches. The romance felt forced and extremely annoying.

There are many more reasons why I despised this book like Laia turning invisible only to throw sand on her enemies, Elias and Laia almost getting caught but sneaking away (which happened like a million, gazillion times), rom
Reading_ Tamishly
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much! The world didn't want me to finish it up while I was reading it. The sleep demon came. The hunger gods knocked. The toilet jinns grimaced. Yes, nothing serious. Let's not blame the world when you love a book a little too much!

⚔️ Ten bleeding hells! 🗡️ Helene, my heart is breaking into a million stars 🌌

"Most people are nothing but glimmers in the great darkness of time. But you, Helene Aquilla, are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night - if you dare t
Wendy Darling
Don't hate me, karen.

Excited to be reading this--and PS, Penguin is giving away 10 ARCs of this book here! http://bit.ly/1XseFCc

You can catch a sneak peek of the ARC + Laia's arm cuff on my Instagram, too: https://instagram.com/p/BGIFIxiTiHt. I can't seem to insert images here lately, otherwise I'd post a photo.
5 Ten Bleeding Hells STAR'S

"But you... are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn."

“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.”

Buddy read with my VK/GR besttie Tania Parvin

Simply AMAZING!!! Everything about 'A Torch Against the Night' was done so masterfully! It has everything that makes a book great and I couldn't love it more. From the plot
Picking up where 'An Ember in the Ashes' left off, 'A Torch Against the Night' proved to be every bit as suspenseful and action-packed as the first book. Laia and Elias find themselves fighting to survive, as they try and evade the cruelty of the Commandant and the new emperor. There was never a dull moment.

One thing that you should know going into this series is that the author isn't afraid to kill off characters. There were several surprising deaths along the way. Don't be surprised if some of
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Reread September)

Guys. I have no idea what the fuck I was talking about in the review four years ago. Like....what???

Anyways, still 5 STARS BABY!!!!

Forgot how good this was.

Reading Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEldQ...

Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |


(First read August, 2016)






Simona B
*Fellow readers, please, for your own good, go read Kat's, Sarah's, and Nastassya's reviews- I just did it, and I know I will be laughing for hours. Besides, you know I always mention them, and I don't do it only because we discuss the book together: it's because they know what it means to review a book and analyze it with humor and intellectual honesty. I was almost cut out from the world for the past week and the only reason I wanted to leave the wonderful place I'd gone on vacation to was to ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well I wasn't planning on finishing this book tonight but here we are. This is the only book in a while that has kept me reading past my bedtime because I just needed to FINISH!
I really enjoyed ember when I read it but I think the hype got to me a bit too much and I didn't LOVE it. Not the case with this one. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. I was also not 100% on board with it becoming a 4 book series at first (I love duologies! I want more of them!) but after this book I so am. I need more. There is so mu
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

A Torch Against the Night is simply the superior YA Fantasy of the year. Hands down, there's no competition.

An Ember in the Ashes was merely a prelude to the sinister follow up. The story remains about oppression, but unlike the first book this is where readers could vividly see the resistance at first hand. The stakes are higher. There is more gore, and violence.

My heart is very delighted with the intricate political prose, but there are truths in it as well that parallels our past and
Mikee (ReadWithMikee)
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it

Find me on Instagram & Twitter!
❝You are a torch against the night — if you dare to let yourself burn.❞

I'm a little undecided on how I feel about A Torch Against the Night. I really liked it but at the same time I wasn't blown away by it...? I guess to put it simply, it was good but nowhere near as good as An Ember in the Ashes. Or maybe I was just expecting too much. I'm not too sure.

I loved some parts and some of the things I wanted to happen DID happen but other parts left me a lit
Spoiler Free Review.... I've now added to this review and it's only at the very end there will be spoilers (which is marked in capitals and in bold, so here is your warning)


”Don’t lock yourself away from those who care about you because you think you’ll hurt them or - or they’ll hurt you. What point is there in being human if you don’t let yourself fell anything?

Buddy Read with these lovely ladies!
We were not ready!

Where to even begin with this review… After reading
Did I ever think Sabaa Tahir would let me down? Because if any part of me did, swiftly punch it to non-existence. Thanks.

I'm literally on the floor crying yet my heart feels so full.

An Ember in The Ashes lingered on suspense and brutality. The stakes have been high since the beginning. A Torch Against the Night is even more brutal, more heart racing and oh yeah, lots more deaths and twists that really had me worried for my heart.

The pacing is different to that of AEITA because there's
Full review to come. I might change my rating later. I need to process what i just read for a few days.

Another book with my favorite buddy reader: Hayley!!
Better get used to seeing her here. ;)

Ashley Nuckles
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m so glad I waited until right before the third books drops to read this because OH MY GOD. I’m dead. I can’t. I just—I ASPIRE TO WRITE STORIES AS GOOD AS THIS ONE. SABAA YOU ARE FOREVER MY INSPIRATION!
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, as much as I am loving how fast paced these books are, I’m getting tired of the constant heart palpitations. I need proper character arcs, development, background, detail! Basically, more focus on the characters!

We’re in their head for 2 seconds, whilst they’re expressing their worries and insecurities, but I still can’t fully connect to them.

I loved the first half of the book. I was speeding through it, like you do with these books, but man, my heart isn’t connecting to the characters an
Helen 2.0
GOT MY COPY *happy dance* (which means I can stop giving ARC owners the evil eye haha... ahem.)


Seems like everyone and their grandma has already got an ARC of this book and I'm just sitting here like...
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**My apologies if I don't respond to emails or friend requests right away! Come find me on Twitter or Instagram @sabaatahir, or on my web site: www.sabaatahir.com

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes

Other books in the series

An Ember in the Ashes (4 books)
  • An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
  • A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)
  • A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Given her choice of superpowers, she'd be a fire-breathing, airport line-skipping dragon. Tahir also reveals the playlists she works to and what...
44 likes · 7 comments
“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.” 546 likes
“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.” 471 likes
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