The wait for A Torch Against the Night seemed painfully long, but Tahir rewarded readers with an emotionally charged tale that had me holding my breath. The story is dark and filled with impossible quests, gut wrenching twists as you root for these characters. Her Roman type dystopian world is bloody and oppressive. We witness genocides, deception, ruthless killings and more.

The first tale had two POV’s those of Elias and Laia, but in A Torch Against the Night Tahir introduced Helene’s narrative and it was bloody brilliant. Helene has become Blood Strike, and her story at times stole the show. She is given the impossible task of capturing and killing Elias. Elias and Laia are on a quest to rescue her brother Darin. Their quest is filled with danger and discoveries. Tahir delivered an addictive story with twists, turns and betrayals. At times I could do nothing more than stop in place, hold my breath and listen.

“But you, Helene Aquilla, are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night - if you dare to let yourself burn.”

Saab Tahir continued to flesh out the world, giving us a firmer grasp of the hierarchy, political climate and supernatural elements of this world. Laia continues to surprise, and I am curious about her ultimate role as this story continues.

Tahir’s writing is vivid and her prose like musical notes to my ear. Not only did she capture the emotions of each character she brought each scene to life. As Elias and Laia traveled a sandstorm kicked up, and she allowed me to experience it. I could taste the sand and hear the relentless wind. We travel through villages and forests as we make our way towards the prison. Along the way, we learn more about the characters face Helene’s pursuit and pick up allies. It was intense and Tahir did not spare our feelings as she conjured up this brutal world.

“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.”

Tahir’s writing lends itself perfectly to audio and the narrators certainly enhanced my experience. I adore Fiona Hardingham accent and it lends itself perfectly for the voice of Laia. Steve West brings Elias to life. I particularly loved Katherine McEwan’s rendition of Helene. I felt she captured Helene’s insecurities and struggles. At this point I cannot imagine enjoying this series any other way.

Audio provided by publisher, This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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