“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 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.”
What I thought:
Now THIS was the book I needed! I was beginning to worry that fantasy was losing its magic for me, but this one reminded me that me no longer caring about fantasy is about as likely as me never buying another book ever again. So it’s won already, and I haven’t even done the review yet 😀
It takes only a split second for life to go horribly wrong. To fix the mess, I need a thousand things to go right. The distance from one bit of luck to the next feels as great as the distance across oceans. But, I decide in this moment, I will bridge that distance, again and again, until I win. I will not fail.
There was just so much to love. I adored Mamie Rila, I was intrigued by the Soul Catcher and loved every scene with her, I was intrigued by Harper and even more so now that we know a little more about his connection to Elias, and I LOVED how much Laia has grown as a character. The foreshadowing was killing me.
Helene’s development got me the most, and the majority of my favourite scenes were hers. I’m hurting so much for her and everything she’s sacrificed and lost. She put everything on the line in this book, she’s fought so hard, and she’s lost everything regardless. I hope she finds a happy end; the poor girl has earned a bit of happiness!
“She deserves better than you pretending she didn’t exist,” Keenan says. I look up, shocked, expecting anger, but his dark eyes are sympathetic. It makes it worse somehow. “I know it hurts. Of all people, I know. But pain is how you know you loved her.”
The only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the continued love triangle possibility of Keenan-Laia-Elias, but that kind of took care of itself so I’m still a happy kitten 🙂 And I did like the dynamic between them! The boys were like little devils and angels sitting on one shoulder each, making Laia feel either strong or like a failure depending on who she was talking to.
I also completely ship Laia and the Nightbringer. That could happen, right? (sssshhhhhhh, nobody correct me)
I close my eyes and allow myself one moment to imagine a different world. In that world, Elias is a Tribal boy, and I am a jurist’s daughter. We meet in a market, and our love isn’t tainted by Blackcliff or by all the things he hates about himself. I hold myself in that world, just for a second.
Then I release it. Elias and I are finished. Now, there is only death.
All I need now is Book 3! I shall be a good girl and practice patience. If anyone has any tips, do pass them on.
Have you read A Torch Against the Night? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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