A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night

A Novel

Book - 2016
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Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia's brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison, a mission that is complicated by hunting Empire soldiers, the manipulations of the Commandant, and lingering ghosts from their pasts.
Publisher: New York :, Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101998878
Characteristics: 452 pages ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

Nominated for best young adult fantasy & science fiction.

From the critics

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Aug 21, 2020

I was intrigued by the first book in the series and hopes that this addition would give the series the strength it needs to become an epic fantasy. Unfortunately, this book falls flat. The love triangle is forced and out of place in a world so consumed by violence. Despite the many challenges and threats the main cast faces, I never actually worried for their safety. Tahir tries to flesh out the main characters, but she simply builds upon the cliche tropes she constructed in the first book. All of this combined with the odd pacing, their journey to Kauf takes 2/3 of the book but major action sequences seem to only be described briefly, make this a disappointing read.

ArapahoeTiegan Apr 14, 2020

The second book in the series left off exactly where book one ended, which is wonderful. I tend to have a hard time with some time jumps between books, but this series does not disappoint in that way. The reader is able to smoothly continue along with story and the character's adventures. Elias and Laia are on their way to rescue Laia's brother from the most formidable prison in the Empire while evading the Commandant, the Blood Shrike, and other enemies. They are also fighting darker forces that had been thought the be myths - wraiths, efrits, ghuls. There is adventure, betrayal, plotting, and revelations galore in this second book.

Oct 05, 2019

This book is a great continuation of the first one, and I enjoyed the plot. But it could get really off track. I thought that it had good story elements, but the love organic shape could sometimes be distracting. For the most part, I think the book is good and carries wisdom, but I think that some of the death was unnecessary. I love the characters and like that Helene’s point of view was added (because she’s my favorite). But I did not like the love organic shape.

May 25, 2019

I loved the first book, but I put this book down after a couple dozen pages. The unnecessary love triangle, and especially the tired, boring trope of two men fighting over one woman, really got in the way of my enjoyment of the story.

Feb 16, 2019

Good continuation of the series, but not as good as the first one.

Nov 28, 2018

Holy mother of plot twists, Batman. Page 338 was my favorite, I cannot get over the direction this took. All through the end of the book the voices in my head were shrieking, and there was another small twist at the end that I enjoy the direction of. Book 1 didn't excite me, but this one was fantastic and I am really looking forward to Book 3 and seeing where these characters go.

Oct 09, 2018

A book I had a hard time putting down to do other mundane things in my day to day life. This has a perfect balance of action, friendship, love, sacrifice, you name it! I'm usually not a fan of more than two POV's in a book, but I found myself looking forward to reading Helene's journey. It goes to show that not everything is black and white, and that there are many grey areas in life. And while yes, there are many repetitive YA's out there (this being one of them), it really is a great book. Why? My heart pounded in anticipation with every page turn. Not to mention the fact that sequels usually go a little downhill (books and movies alike). They never seem to be able to keep up with their glorious counterpart, and leave us wanting for more (not in a good way either). But this??? Was perfectly plotted. There were no holes. No parts skipped to connect a gap so the book can be wrapped up for an actioned filled ending. What. A. Gem.

Jul 15, 2018

Yes, Sabaa Tahir. This was definitely the book that I have been waiting for. I got so many questions answered from the previous 2 books. Now I am asking the biggest question of them all. Who's side am I on? Tahir is a very good writer. She has me feeling sorry for the antagonist of the story, The Nightbringer. This is a great concept and challenges the reader to think outside of the box. The characters in this series have such strong emotions. I can picture each and every one of them. The Jinn downfall has me questioning my position on who is right. It also causes me to wonder if Laia, Elias or Helena will fall or achieve their destinies. I cannot wait for the fourth book to come out. Which may be another year or two.
The book cover is not as impressive though. She should have stuck with the original design scheme. Also, I noticed others commenting on the size of the book. Yes, this one was much longer. But I felt that it needed to be. The story is rich and complicated. But Tahir knows how to explain away those complications, and sometimes it takes a few more pages to do that.
This was a great read to an already awesome series.

Jun 14, 2018


Just a few of the words I can use to describe this amazing book, which in turn, is part of an even more amazing series. Sabaa Tahir is a goddess of words and she does not disappoint with this novel. Please, do yourself a favor and check it out right now!!

5/5 stars! for thoughtful, well developed characters that grow throughout the story. for an amazing brutal world. for the truth: where there is life there is hope (basically the theme of this story)

Nov 21, 2017

Another good book, I enjoyed it and felt like it was an interesting direction to take the storyline. I may still like the first book better but this one had some cool qualities to it as well, such as plot twists, stress-inducing scenes, and tons of sadness, betrayal and brutality; all expected components after the tone was set in book 1.
I'm not sure where the story is heading but I almost feel like there's a rebellion uprising or something on its way, it will be neat to see what happens to the remaining characters.

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Oct 05, 2019

maroon_cat_560 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 02, 2019

Ravindersidhu thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 15, 2018

Natashastales thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Apr 23, 2017

mauve_ant_91 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 27, 2017

Pipthekat thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 06, 2017

white_horse_641 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote

"I will always miss you... even when I'm a ghost."

Oct 18, 2016

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.


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Oct 18, 2016

The Trials are over, and Marcus has been crowned the new Emperor of the Martials, with Helene Aquilla sworn to serve as his Blood Shrike despite her reservations. Elias and Laia flee the capital on a mission to free her brother, Darin, who is being held in Kauf prison. With the knowledge of how to forge Serric steel, he has the potential to change the course of the Scholar rebellion. They must figure out how to outwit Kauf’s sadistic Warden to free Darin, assuming he is still alive. But first they will need traverse half the Empire to get to him, and Helene Aquilla is on their heels. Now sworn as Blood Shrike, and with her family as hostages, she is charged with killing the traitor Elias Veturius in order to secure Marcus’ rule.


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Dec 05, 2016

Sexual Content: Way more than the first book. If this was a movie it would be rated R!

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