Review | There Are So Many Game of Thrones Vibes In A Torch Against The Night

Check out Read By Dev’s book review of Torch Against The Night, Sabaa Tahir’s best-selling sequel to An Ember In The Ashes.

A Torch Against The NightIMG_4336

By: Sabaa Tahir

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The book is narrated by Elias, Laia and now Helene. They are dealing with the aftermath of the Trials – where Elias gave up being Emperor, Laia saved Elias’s life, and Helene swore fealty to evil Emperor Marcus. Elias’s mom, the Commandant, is still evil and crazy AF. Laia’s brother is still in prison (who knows if he’s dead or alive), and the world is still going to hell. There are dead spirits roaming around, an evil god-like creature roaming around trying to get revenge, and of course the scheming for power. So, naturally, everyone splits up to do their own thing.

Theme Song

TL;DR:

If I’m being honest, Helene’s chapters were boring AF but for some reason I can’t resist her character arc – she’s amazing in her own way. 75% of this book also felt like I was watching season six of Game of Thrones. Everyone gets separated, they are all traveling/trying to make it the epic battle, and I had to wait most of the book for the crazy sh*t to go down. BUT, the wait was worth it. If you’re looking for a milder version of Game of Thrones, please read this series!

The Good

The Lore

There’s enough faerie, magic, and mythology to go around in this series. Tahir takes well-known folklore and spins a unique, refreshing world that I didn’t know I needed.

giphy.gif

The Villains

I love when there is evil lurking in every corner of a story. Every main character is dealing with their own personal hell brought on by a different bad guy. Evil king? You got it. Evil mother? Yup, it’s there. Evil mystical/god-like creature. For sure! If there’s a way to keep me interested, it’s when I can’t figure out who the biggest threat is.

giphy.gif

The Cliffhangers

That last page will have you like…that’s all I’m saying. The ending is the best part of book 2. You’ll want to start book 3 immediately!

giphy.gif

The Bad

Helene, You Bore Me

I could have done without Helene as a narrator. Her loyalty is so engrained into her – mind, body and soul – and I CAN. NOT. HANDLE. IT. At one point I thought about skimming through her chapters just to get back to Elias. She’s not a bad character, she’s just…different. I love her, but I also hate her. She’s the frenemy you hope gets better (spoiler: she does…finally).

giphy.gif

The Number One Rule IS DO NOT SPLIT UP

Why does everyone insist on splitting up to save the world? Everyone knows you STICK TOGETHER. Once Elias, Laia, and Helene are on their own, the story gets a lot slower. I wish there were more instances where the MCs were a group and there was more action, but I totally understand why it was necessary…I just wish it wasn’t.

giphy.gif

The Ugly Truth

I loved A Torch Against The Night, but it wasn’t as good as An Ember In The Ashes. With that being said, it still holds its own and the set up is necessary for that crazy ending. It’s a solid sequel, and I wanted to start book 3 as soon as I could!

Talk To Me

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

Review | An Ember In The Ashes Is Fantasy Gold

An Ember In The Ashes IMG954239

By: Sabaa Tahir

Overall Rating: ★★★★

Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother, Darrin. Darrin gets arrested for treason. After Laia runs away like a wimp, she decides to be strong like her mother and do whatever it takes to free her brother. ENTER: The rebels who promise to help her, but only if she helps them (*dun, dun, dun*).

She infiltrates an elite school for soldiers, posing as a slave, where she  meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier. They both endured some pretty horrific things, leading to the pair teaming up becoming unlikely allies. CUE: THIS IS WHEN THINGS GET CRAZY.

Theme Song

TL;DR:

An Ember In The Ashes is Gladiator x Hunger Games with just enough mythical creatures to make this the fantasy series of my dreams. The characters are complex, sometimes annoying, but always interesting.  You won’t be able to put this book down. I highly recommend!

The Good

The Story

I’m so here for the no-happy-ending-for-you theme of this book. I was also really intrigued by the prophecies, the impending doom coming from all sides (literally I had no idea who was really the “bad guy” the entire time), and the history of the world. Throw in some soldier-on-soldier fight to the deaths, crazy magical priests (who remind me of Silent Brothers from Shadowhunters) and FAERIES and I’m 100% in. If you don’t like bloodshed or scenes that will hurt you in the heart, you might want to skip this.

giphy

The Characters

Darrin had me from page one. Elias was love at first sight. Laia was annoying AF. Helene was…complicated. What do they all have in common? They are complex, intriguing, and all had me screaming in irritation, scoffing in anger, or rolling my eyes in disbelief. The journeys these characters go through are so good. They aren’t perfect, and I love them just the way they are…yes, even you Laia.

Elias Veturius Gets His Own Section

ELIAS, SOLDIER BOY OF MY HEART. Yes, he gets his own section. He’s now officially my one f*ckboy I allow on my book boyfriend list (Sorry Tiberius Calore, you’ve been dumped). He’s groomed to kill and follow directions, but can’t seem to get past his adorable, caring, sweet cinnamon roll heart. Yeah, he may get distracted by Laia’s curves or Helene’s hair, and literally every other pretty girl who walks his way…but he gets stuff done. And I love him.

giphy

The Bad

I Have So Many Questions

Book one leaves you with A LOT of unresolved plot points. You learn a lot on this journey, but all the important bits don’t start filling in until the end. And even then, you’ll want to immediately start the sequel because you’ll be left wondering what’s happening to literally everyone. Couldn’t I get at least one major thing resolved? No…okay. I’ll just go binge the rest of the series now.

giphy.gif

The Ugly Truth

I can’t believe I didn’t start this series sooner! I loved almost everything about An Ember In The Ashes. It had morally grey characters, hot soldier boys, magic, battle scenes, and I can’t wait for more. (Literally I couldn’t wait. I binged the second and third book before even writing this.)

Talk To Me

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Are you adding this to your TBR?

TL; DR | March Speed Reviews

Check out my mini reviews of all my March 2019 reads!

How is it spring already? How are we already a quarter way through 2019? How have I managed to read 6 books this month and not review any of them yet? Well, I’ll tell you why, because I’ve been neglecting my blog for the greatness that is Elias Veturius (more on that below). I promise to have full reviews for these soon, but since it’s the end of March – here’s some TL; DR action!

Sawkill Girls Sawkill

By: Claire Legrand

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

This is a creepy, dark, feminist Rage Fest for the masses. The main ladies are diverse, unique and so refreshingly weird. Read for a new take on female friendships. Down with the patriarchy! You will rage so hard against the antagonist(s) and love the ending. I love monster stories, so it gets bonus points just for that.

Lady Smoke IMG_4203.jpg

By: Laura Sebastian

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

This is book two in the Ash Princess trilogy and I was not disappointed. It wasn’t as amazing as Ash Princess – I really wish there was more magic – but it definitely lives up to the hype. If you were ever into Avatar the Last Airbender, you’ll enjoy book one. And if you’re into strong, independent queens who don’t need a man by their side to kick ass and take names, you’ll fall in love with Theo in book 2.

The Wicked King Wk

By: Holly Black

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

For all my Cruel Prince fans, please don’t hate me, but this series DOES NOT live up to the hype…like at all. The Wicked King wasn’t everything I expected it to be, but it was way better than The Cruel Prince, so I’m giving it a one-up in my star rating. I’m also going to be petty with my rating and say that Jude gets what she deserves and so much more, and I enjoyed seeing her fumble. I still hate Taryn. Locke is the absolute worst. And Cardan is an evil little d-bag (but he can stay because for some odd reason I’m kind of into it). Even though I didn’t enjoy this as much as the masses, the ending was honestly so great.

A Court of Thorns & Roses (Reread) 20190126_093837

By: Sarah J Maas

Overall Rating: ★★★

The Verdict

It’s been a full year since I’ve read ACOTAR so I decided to reread the series in between some of the newer titles I’m getting to. The first time around, I rated this one 3 stars because I couldn’t get behind Tamlin, and Feyre was a whiny brat. Knowing all the twists and turns now (and obviously that SJM is an evil-genius who deserves an award for playing with my emotions) I’m still giving this 3 stars. The set up is worth the outcome in books 2 and 3, so PLEASE READ, but don’t expect book 1 to take your breath away.

An Ember In The Ashes IMG954239

By: Sabaa Tahir

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS SOONER?! An amazing fantasy world with complex characters and an intense plot. Elias Veturius is the most irresistible f*ckboi ever and I love him to death. Laia is a bit on the annoying side, but she grows on you. I felt like I was reading a Game of Thrones X Throne of Glass Saga and I was not disappointed with the oracular fortune telling, political scheming, and magic. I started book two immediately. Which leads me to…

A Torch Against The Night IMG_4336

By: Sabaa Tahir

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

Per yoozsh, book two isn’t as amazing as book one, but it’s great in its own right. The book is narrated by Elias, Laia and now Helene. If I’m being honest, Helene’s chapters were boring AF but for some reason I can’t resist her character arc. 75% of this book also felt like I was watching season 6 of Game of Thrones. Everyone gets separated, they are all traveling/trying to make it the epic battle, and I had to wait most of the book for the crazy sh*t to go down. BUT, the wait was worth it. That ending…wow. Excuse me while I binge Reaper At The Gates.

Talk To Me

What did you think of my reads this month? Will you be adding any to your TBR? Have you read any of these already?