Title: The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Format: Kindle e-book
Published: By Penguin Random House on May 3rd, 2018
Grade: Exceeds expectations
Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an 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?
In all honesty, I requested this because the cover is so pretty and because the synopsis sounded interesting. I enjoy high fantasy books with multiple POVs, so I thought I’d really end up liking this as well.
For the most part, this book had all the elements that I crave for in fantasies. My favourite characters were Princess Catherine of Brigant and the demon huntress, Tash. Each of the voices was distinct and well-suited to the characters, with Ambrose being idealistic, Edyon having a naïve perspective that developed over the story, Marsh with his conflicted loyalties, Catherine being defiant in the best possible way and Tash with her sharp tongue and hints of childish innocence. I liked what each of the characters brought to the story and the way their lives intersected towards the climax. The world-building was another aspect of the book that was superbly done. The magic was subtle but inventive and the political intrigue was incorporated very well to make a compelling narrative. The fact that Catherine and Lady Ann showed so much strength of character even though they were from a country where women are oppressed was another plus point.
Although the plot was well constructed and there were several twists and turns, I didn’t think it was unique. I could draw parallels with the Game of Thrones storyline, which I personally don’t like. Also, the descriptions of blood and gore were reminiscent of George R. R. Martin’s style, which was another negative for me as I don’t prefer that in fantasy.
I’d recommend this for those of you who are new to the fantasy genre and YA fans of A Song of Ice and Fire series. For the music, one obviously should choose to listen to the amazing Game of Thrones soundtrack in the background. There are definitely some mentions of food in here that will make your stomach rumble, so prepare enough for a royal banquet before picking this book up.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Any fans of A Song of Ice and Fire or the Game of Thrones TV show here? Let me know in the comments section below.