I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Series: The Smoke Thieves #1
Published by Penguin on 3rd May 2018
Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy
A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief. Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Five nations destined for conflict.
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father, while her true love, Ambrose, faces the executioner's block. 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 five 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’m not even going to try to explain The Smoke Thieves. Usually, I like to attempt a wee overview but in all honesty, I don’t think I could do this book justice in a summary! So, read the one above!
Told from the perspectives of five characters; Tash, a demon hunter; Catherine, a princess betrothed to a prince she’s never met; Ambrose, a soldier and personal bodyguard to Catherine; March, a servant and traitor; and Edyon, a thief and bastard son of a trader.
I loved this book! I’m often wary of stories that are told through a host of different characters, as sometimes I can feel that we don’t really get to know the characters well enough. Or I inevitably dislike a character and dread reading their chapter. The Smoke Thieves thankfully bucked that trend. I loved all of the characters, found their voices distinct and felt we got to know them all and the world around them.
I’ll be honest and say that I found the beginning a little slow at times, but before I knew it, I was swept up in this world and in the characters and I couldn’t put the book down.
I think Green has built a fascinating world, one that I didn’t want to leave: Brigant, with its cruel, oppressive king and attitude towards women in contrast to Pitoria with its colour, dance and customs. I’d like to have explored Calidor a bit more but I’ve no doubt that will happen in future books.
This story is packed with intrigue, deceit, and deception. There’s fighting, demon smoke, hatred, political manoeuvres, revenge and even love. I truly didn’t want it to end.
Now, I rarely pay attention to comparisons but when I finished reading I saw this…
“a new epic fantasy series perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Game of Thrones”
and bizarrely, I agree with that! As I was reading I did actually think of it as a YA Game of Thrones. Maybe it was the travelling, the food, and the multiple perspectives, but I can see where they are coming from with that.
This is a wonderful epic fantasy that stopped my heart at times, made me chortle at others, and made me crave delicious foods!
I loved Green’s writing, this world, her characters and way the book is poised for the next instalment of the series. I seriously cannot wait for book two!
Oh and if you fancy getting your hands on a signed, hardback edition I just noticed that Goldsboro Books have some copies available!