I have been really struggling with my TBR list lately. Not because I have nothing to read but because I cannot decide what to read! It is a nice problem to have in the grand scheme of things!
I am sharing another review today, this time I am looking at The Smoke Thieves which is the first book in a new series from Sally Green.
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Title: The Smoke Thieves
Author: Sally Green
Synopsis: 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?
Categories: Fantasy, YA,
Publication Date: 1st May 2018
Rating: 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4 stars on GR etc)
Review: Ok so for the first time I feel like I really don’t know how to rate The Smoke Thieves. I can’t work out if 3.5 is too high or too low. I really struggled for the middle third of the book and it was only when I hit the last third I felt like I actually wanted to find out the ending.
The Smoke Thieves follows five characters, a princess (Catherine), a traitor (March), a hunter (Tash), a solider (Ambrose) and a thief (Edyon). I did feel in parts that all of these points of view were a little bit overwhelming. Though towards the end of the book it did get better. I found that I loved reading Catherine, Tash and Edyon’s parts but found Ambrose’s kind of boring and March’s really tough to read too.
I really loved that at the start of a chapter of Catherine’s POV we got an except from a fictional book from the world of The Smoke Thieves. I found this really helped with the world building and helped to highlight the differences between the countries (as well as helping the reader understand Catherine too.)
I found myself most drawn to Catherine, Tash, Edyon. Though I must confess I found Catherine a little bit whiny at times, especially when it came to her thoughts regarding Ambrose. What I did love about Catherine was that she really took to adapting to her new life, and became her own person over the course of the book, it was really interesting to read. She accomplished so much in such a short space of time, and I really can’t wait to see what she does in the next book!
I feel like Ambrose was simply a mirror for Catherine’s feelings and there were only a few points when his narrative added to the story. Maybe one less point of view would have worked better and helped with the slow pacing in the middle of then book?
I loved Tash’s character, she was bold and fierce and I found her working relationship with, and devotion to Gravell to be really interesting. I think that Tash was the most interesting character for me, and I can’t wait to see where her story goes in the later books.
Edyon was just so likeable and I loved reading from his POV. I even found March more endearing through Edyon’s eyes, as much as I disliked reading March’s POV. I felt that the budding romance between Edyon and March was much more interesting than the Catherine/Ambrose one.
As for March, I just couldn’t find anything likeable about him, I know that he background went some ways to explain it and he was manipulated by a character who I won’t name as I don’t want to spoil things. But I just found him too venomous, but I am hoping that the character development, which started towards the end of then book, continues in book two as I liked the way it was headed.
All in all I found that The Smoke Thieves was an enjoyable fantasy read, there were so really interesting parts, like demons and the demon smoke, and some really interesting characters. The middle section of the book was a little too slow for my liking and I feel that 5 pov really stretched the focus a bit too much. The cliffhanger ending was a good one and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series when it is released.
The Smoke Thieves is available in both hardcover and paperback from bookshops including Amazon*.
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I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions and words are my own.