I would like to thank Penguin Random House UK Children’s and Sally Green for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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?
Fantasy books are the key to my heart – especially those that drip in detail and a back story that makes me feel like I am actually there. The Smoke Thieves was fortunately one of those books that won my heart and I can only describe it as a whirlwind of adventure.
The pace of the story did start slowly for me and I put this down to the extensive world building and the introduction of many different characters. Once I got to grips with who-was-who the pace began to pick up and I found myself engrossed.
I tend to worry when I read a book that has several character POV’s. Game of Thrones is a perfect example of this. Don’t get me wrong I love this series but it is so easy to get lost and come out feeling mega confused. The author manages to make the five different POV’s flow seamlessly into one another without causing any confusion.
Naturally there will always be preference over which character chapters you enjoy and look forward to the most, for me it was Tash and Catherine. Don’t get me wrong, the other three were still just as well written and their sub plots were just as interesting but I love reading from the perspective of strong women.
The differences between the two are obvious, Catherine is a princess who has had a very sheltered life whereas Tash was sold by her parents to a man called Gravell and is now a ‘demon hunter’. Regardless of their social status they do share one thing in common – they are strong outspoken women.
Tash thankfully gets on well with Gravell, he doesn’t abuse or neglect her – so I can assume that they consider each other family, though she is never afraid to voice her opinion or stand up to him when she feels fit. Catherine has a slightly different and worse situation. Her father and brother cannot stand the sight of her and she is treated awfully – like all woman in Brigant. It was as interesting to read how the author explores the treatment of women in this part of her world, most of the time I was incredibly angry but proud of how Catherine always remained calm.
I praise Sally for her use of diversity, we have POC as well as LGBT romance that brews (fingers crossed we’ll see more of this growing relationship in the next book!).
There is another romance in the story which is so obvious it hurts. I won’t spoil too much of it, so you can judge it for yourself.
My negatives were the ending of the book and the pace which I mentioned previously. For me the last few chapters felt rushed as a means to wrap up the story – I know I am being slightly picky but hey ho. I’m super eager for the next book because I’m in desperate need to know what happens next!
Read this book. I can’t stress how much you will fall in love with The Smoke Thieves.