A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
The sequel to her bestselling debut, An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night continues the story of the former slave Laia and the former elite soldier of the Empire, Elias, as they flee the wrath of the new Emperor. Laia and Elias head north to the infamous Kauf prison where Laia’s brother has been taken. Amidst a rebellion, ramblings of civil war and being hunted by Elias’ former best friend Helene, Laia and Elias must break into and out of the Empire’s most secure prison. While it was the world-building that drew me into the previous story, in this entry it was the characters, particularly Elias. Ms. Tahir has crafted a truly complex, flawed and yet absolutely sympathetic character. I found myself caring deeply for what happened to Elias and interested in his relationship with Laia. It is going to be a long wait to books three and four!