Wow… This one really disappointed me.
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. –goodreads.com summary
I went into A Torch Against the Night expecting greatness. The first novel had some impressive characters and tension so I expected at least SOME of that to carry over to book 2… yet here we are.
Ending: Once the book got to the last 150 pages the plot really picked it. The tension that I remember from the first book was back and I loved it!
Helene: AKA The best character in the series! Her inner conflict of wanting to keep Elias safe but also wanting to serve the empire and keep her family safe is GREAT! You can see her slowly beginning to question the ways of the empire and I love that! She’s such a dynamic character and her development is PERFECT!
Magic: I’m torn because I want to learn more and hope it gets more attention, but the fact that one of the main villains isn’t actually main villain and someone else is actually pulling the strings… idk just makes her seem lamer. I’m 100% open to the magic elements being further explored but I hope it’s done well.
Love triangle: UGH PLEASE STOP! Every time I thought there might be a nice character moment, the love triangle had to butt its way into the story. I DON’T CARE! I rather learn more about these characters within the love triangle than their stupid conflicting feelings for one another.
The Waiting Place: I didn’t hate these chapters but I found myself dreading them. It just took me out of the story a bit too much. I don’t know maybe I just found them too boring.
Slow plot: I can’t believe I’m saying this after book one, but I was BORED for parts of A Torch Against the Night. The slow plot could’ve been SUCH a great opportunity for character development but NOPE we needed a love triangle that, honestly, I hate the more I think about it.
If you can’t tell, I was super disappointed by A Torch Against the Night. It could’ve been a great character based second novel making it one giant missed opportunity. Some better moments came towards the end once the tension was built up once again and things were happening but by that point I was already annoyed with the novel. Will I continue the series when book three comes out? I don’t know right now. Maybe I’ll pick it up from the library. We’ll see.
Keenan: We had an actually good reveal! This one caught me off guard and looking back, I can see the hints that were dropped about it in book one. I love reveals like that! I’m curious to see what this Nightbringer thing is and what it is up to. I guess it’ll be the big bad of the rest of the series…? Who knows!
Darin: So he was knocked out and didn’t wake up for weeks, only to wake up on the last page with Laia and Elias cuddling… I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does. What was the point of having him knocked out for so long if he was just gonna wake up on the last page for a happy ending? It just feels to sappy compared to everything else in the series. I’m not saying he had to die (wouldn’t that be depressing…) ACTUALLY! Ya know what! He should’ve died then Elias would see his spirit in the waiting place and help him move on. And maybe Darin would give Elias a message to send to his sister and Elias brings that message to Laia and she’s sad because she lost the last of her family, but Elias is her family now and he’ll help her get through that… THAT WOULD’VE BE 20x BETTER THAN SOME SAPPY ENDING!
Izzi: *sobbing* This poor child deserved the world. I’m sad she’s dead but it was nice that Elias saw her in the waiting place and helped her move on.