A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The murder, the mayhem and the magic continue in book 2 of the series. As Elias and Laia set forth to save Darrin from his prison cell in Kauf, new characters are introduced and old ones resurface. The plot turns in varied directions eliciting surprises and WOAH moments. I can't wait for book 3!
The very obvious chemistry between Elias and Laia thickens even more adding a romantic flair to the entire series so far. However, two things come between them: Keenan, who will be a great surprise at the end of book 2; and that greater mission to save the world. I love the women characters as they all can kick ass and then some. Even Laia, despite her poor judgement of her emotions, is turning out to be a mature character in the series. Dear me. So I hope Ms. Tahir keeps this development of the lead character.
I love the Kehanni, Mamie Rila. She knows the power of storytelling and how stories can influence and move peoples. Her meeting with Elias was touching. By the time she was done telling her story, I was in tears for she was not only telling stories to save the world, she was telling the story of her son to save his life. What sacrifice!
Afya Ay-Nur lived up to my expectations. I was sad see to Izzy go. And it looks like Shaeva, being a female jinn has more to reveal in the future installments. Keris is consistently ruthless and Cook is proving to know more than she lets on. Ms. Tahis has, indeed, some more tricks up her sleeve.
In this array of amazing women characters, it is Helene Aquila who turned up to be more than what I expected her to be. Yes, I fell for the mistake of underestimating her. The Blood Shrike's journey and growth as a key character was not easy at all. Thus, becoming the Empire's inner strength is a position well deserved. It would be exciting to see how she interacts with Marcus and Keris. And Harper too! Haha. I am hoping for another pairing here.
While the women got their share of the limelight, Elias completely transformed into the hero he is becoming to be. A master of light and dark, a conqueror of death and a protector of life. He is Elias Veturius. He who walks among the living and the dead. Messiahnic archetype? I am so stoked to find out.
What did not work
The violence. There is so much.
But I suppose, this is essential to a novel, a series that is trying to show the best of humanity in a time of chaos, darkness and conflict.
As a reader, I am staying on for the ride.
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