A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir FAQ & Character Overview

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In this article, I will try to answer some frequently asked questions regarding A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

This is the sequel to the thrilling story of An Ember in the Ashes.

What is A Torch Against the Night about?

A Torch Against the Night continues right where An Ember in the Ashes left off.

Elias and Laia are on the run from Blackcliff, which means the book starts with an epic opener.

Helene is tortured for information on Elias’s and Laia’s escape.

Later on, she is tasked with finding Elias and, eventually, with killing him.

Elias and Laia’s goal is still to free Laia’s brother, Darin, as they’ve gathered the information that he is in Kauf Prison.

A Torch Against the Night is a thrilling sequel that takes the trope of making the journey of your character as hard as possible very seriously and therefore keeps you on the edge of your seat. Plus, as icing on the cake, it ends with an unexpecting plot twist – something Sabaa Tahir is exceptionally good at.

New Characters in A Torch Against the Night

  • Avitas Harper is a newly introduced character. He’s the torturer of Helene and works for the Commandant. After that, he stays by Helene’s side on her mission to keep an eye on her and her work. But who he is truly loyal to seems a question not so easily answered…
  • Darin of Serra is Laia’s brother, but in this book, we actually meet him for the first time.
  • Shaeva is the Soul Catcher of the Waiting Place also known as the Forest of Dusk. Elias is the one to meet her in A Torch against the Night.

Is there romance in this novel?

Torch Against the Night Fanart
Keenan and Laia fanart

Yes, certainly!

In this sequel, Keenan really starts to gain Laia’s trust, and they fall in love with each other.

Elias is still in love with Laia, and he doesn’t like Keenan a bit which results in some quarreling.

Helene is busy with politics and her own problems, but Avitas Harper starts coming more into view in her story.

Do Elias and Laia end up together?

In this particular book, Elias and Laia don’t end up together.

There’s too much going on for that. But at the end of A Torch, a new door with new opportunities opens for them.

How long does it take to read A Torch Against the Night?

An average reader will spend approximately eight (8) hours reading this book.

Is this book appropriate?

Yes, A Torch is appropriate for 13/14+ readers. It’s an epic but complex story with politics as one of its main focuses. It can also be pretty violent for younger teenagers. Apart from that, it’s an adventurous fantasy story that’s fun to read. There’s kissing in this book and fade-to-black scenes, hinting that the characters have had sex, but never explicitly written out scenes.

How many pages is A Torch Against the Night?

This book is 496 pages. (Reprint edition of Penguin Young Readers Group)

What are the themes of this novel?

The main theme is love, which comes in many different forms. The interesting part is that love is also the villain’s theme, and not in a cliché way but in rather a complex form that intertwines with the main character. Apart from that, this book handles themes like war, inequality (between the Scholars and the Martials and between the Jinn and the Humans), and violence.

Do Helene and Laia become friends?

In A Torch, there’s still tension between Helene and Laia. After all, Helene is hunting them down with the order to kill Elias. And Helene had a certain romance with Elias in An Ember in the Ashes, so in this book, Helene and Laia do not become friends. This changes, however, in A Reaper at the Gates.


Do Elias and Laia kiss in A Torch Against the Night?

Yes, in the very last scene of the book, Elias and Laia kiss by a cabin near the Waiting Place where Laia and Darin now temporarily live. It’s a scene where Elias and Laia finally give in to their feelings for each other. It’s a fitting and pretty ending for the book.

How did Shaeva betray the Jinn?

A long time ago, the Nightbringer [Meherya] lived in the Forest of Dusk where he was king of the Jinn. There had always been a rivalry between the Jinn and humans. Shaeva (also a Jinn) betrayed the Nightbringer by helping the Scholar Empire’s king to create the Star. This is a weapon that imprisoned the jinn in the trees of The Forest of Dusk.

Who dies in this book?

The most impactful death was the death of Izzi, who dies after a fight with Masks.

Elias is poisoned by the Commandant’s blade. He has only six months to live and is plagued by seizures until he, finally, dies. But, he makes a deal with Shaeva to return and take her place as the Soul Catcher in the Forest of Dusk

Did Laia sleep with Keenan?

In A Torch, Laia slept with Keenan when they were on their way to Kauf Prison. This was her first time, and she was in love with him. But afterward, she felt confused. She doesn’t believe it was regret, but it certainly wasn’t happiness either. Keenan has a negative impact on her mental state.



I hope this article has answered some of your questions about this book!

And if didn’t find the answer you were looking for, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!

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