Hello humans! We’re back in the safe, comfortable world of YA Fantasy after yesterday’s (incredibly successful) foray into contemporary. The Smoke Thieves was one of those books that I knew I wanted to read but it wasn’t high up on my priority list because it felt like it was going to be too much ‘demon’ for my liking. I’ve read some great paranormal stuff in the past but it does tend to be a little touch and go. If you’re like me and you’ve been pushing this down in your priorities then I urge you to bump it back up. The Smoke Thieves is a wonderful adventure filled with interesting characters, political intrigue and more.
A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.
As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?
This book was great in part because it pulled out all the elements of books I have recently loved but doesn’t have the things I didn’t like. Ok fine that made no sense. But let me give you an example. I’ve read many a terrible epic fantasy novel in which a female character must win over a nation through her smarts and how she presents herself. In those books, I get quickly bored with how many annoying conversations must be had around the topic. In this book, not only is Catherine a wonderful character who is being incredibly wise, but there is also so much else going on that you don’t get bored of her storyline.
This book is multiple POV and at first, I was a little concerned that there were too many characters to keep track of. However, there are only about three storylines going on at the same time, and instead of getting pulled miles away from each other, you’re given different points of view in the same situations. I thought this was a great way to build in more character development and to help the reader to see how characters were reacting to certain situations.
The pacing of this book is arguably a little slow. It has the feel of the first novel in an epic fantasy series, in that it takes a long time to set all the pieces in play only to really start the action near the end of the book. If you’re looking for a book that will satisfy your fantasy itch at a moment’s notice, this may not be the book for that situation. However, it has made me excited to read later books in this series as and when they come out.
There wasn’t as much magic in this book as I was expecting, it’s much more a book about individuals and the way small (arguably insignificant in some cases) people can shape the events of a world. The demon smoke element is more of a catalyst that brings these characters together at various points. It did seem as though this could be used more in later novels so those who crave a more ‘fantastical’ setting should not despair!
This was the first time I’ve ever read a Sally Green book but I think her writing was excellent. The different voices of the many characters were all clearly defined and there was just the right balance between action and dialogue. My favourite characters were the two female POVs (Quelle surprise!) Tash and Catherine who were incredibly different but both entirely relatable.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Is The Smoke Thieves on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!