The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Summary From Goodreads:
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?
I really liked this book, I didn’t love it, but I really liked it. It is quite different from her first series, Half Bad, and I am not sure her writing style suits high fantasy, but if you like stories with some magic and a really good adventure, check this one out.
Tash, demon hunter, is my favorite character. She is spunky and yet stylish. All she wants is to survive to buy a pair of gray suede boots. My kind of girl. She pretty smart and savvy too. And I really like her relationship with Gravell. It is more like a sibling relationship, in that they know each other well and bicker back and forth like siblings do. The whole demon hunting was fascinating and I hope we learn more about the demons in the next book.
Princess Catherine was a pretty good character. She is smart as well, and can play the political game quite well. It is surprising that she is actually a nice person considering her family is full of very evil and despicable men. Her brother especially is high on my list of not very nice people I don’t want to meet. Her relationship with Ambrose is very sweet and doesn’t overwhelm her story at all. I really liked Ambrose, he is loyal and a fierce fighter and didn’t deserve all of the horrible things that happened to his family.
March , traitor, was the hardest character to like. He was treated fairly decently by the Prince but he lets Holywell convince him to betray him and his trust. I kind of got why, but it just seemed that it went against his basic nature. I liked him a bit better by the end of the story, but it took some effort.
Edyon, thief, was a fun character and was often used to bring some humor to the story. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, as a bastard he had little prospects for his life. His thieving was more of a compulsion than a necessity, he would see something and want to own it, but then would lose interest in it and so would give it away. He didn’t need to steal, just did it.
The overall plot was very well done. The pacing gets a little slow in places and there some plots that are better than others. For most of the book, the characters don’t even interact with each other, but are off on their own adventures. It isn’t until the end that they all end up in the same place. The idea of the demon smoke and what it does, is very unique and intriguing and I am looking forward to learning more about it. This looks like it will be a trilogy and I am looking forward to seeing where the characters and the story goes. There is some romance between Catherine and Ambrose and also Edyon and March, but nothing that overshadows the story on the whole. There is a little bit of a love triangle with Catherine once she meets her betrothed, but I don’t think it will develop into one.
I didn’t love this as much as I wanted to, but I did really enjoy it. A delightful fantasy read that I think will get better as the series continues. I am not a huge fan of the cover either. I got where they were going with the chess pieces, but I just doesn’t grab me.