A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Saaba Tahir
Verdict: An awesome sequel (and I don't say that often!)
#1 - An Ember in the Ashes
Elias and Laia are on the run, and must escape the Commandant before they can even think about saving Laias brother from torture in a Kauf prison. As the person who knows Elias best, Helene is given an ultimatum - hunt down her best friend Elias and publicly execute him, or watch her family die as traitors.
Elias's situation is also made complicated early on by a poison with no cure. He only has weeks to live, and it's not long enough to help Laia save her brother, to stop the Commandant, or save the Scholars.
If you loved book one, you'll probably love book two. Once again, it's beautifully written without compromising on the pace.
This is another brutally fantastic read. It's gripping from start to finish, lyrical in prose but never purple, and contains more torturous situations for the three leads. The narrative switches between Elias, Laia, and Helena to always keep the story on it's toes, and each of them try their best to survive the author's mind-games.
It's painful to read at times. Tahir is a cruel story-spinner, who doesn't mind doing the worst to her characters. That means, I could never guess how the book would play out. Helene's situation is miserably difficult, and I didn't know what she was going to do or who she would choose. Her story is particularly heart-wrenching to read.
I won't gush over the details, because I don't want to give spoilers away. This book left me with a satiated mind, a sense of excitement, and an itching for the next story. It's turning into a great series, and I wouldn't be surprised if you loved it too.
Source: Bought it.