Book: The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves 1) by Sally Green
Release Date: May 3th 2018
Tags: High Fantasy / Young Adult / Demons / Princess / Princes / Thieves / Demon Hunters / LGBTQ+ / Homosexual
Other books by this author I reviewed
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?
Earlier this year I finally read Half Bad, and while I wasn’t quite so taken with that book I still wanted to give this one a go. This sounded so much more up my alley than her previous series. Unfortunately this is a typical mediocre young adult fantasy.
The Smoke Thieves is Sally Green’s adventure into an epic high fantasy. Unlike Half Bad this book is written in five third person point of views, alternating each chapter that tell three separate story lines that find each other in the end. While the synopsis talks about 4 characters we get 5 point of views which I found a little odd. The ones talked about in the synopsis are Edyon, March, Catherine and Tash. And jumping along for the ride is Catherine’s body guard Ambrose, because you guessed it, love interest.
The thing with The Smoke Thieves is that it doesn’t stand out. There is very little that is surprising about this book from the princess that gets shipped away to marry to the thief who turns out to be a prince to the reason why the war started. I’ve read a lot of fantasy. I read it 98% of the time. I could guess everything happening.
I could have forgiven that if the writing and characters had been stellar but unfortunately for me that was not the case either. The writing is dry in places. Too much tell and no show. The pacing is off and some short chapters felt like fillers added in just so that character got their usual chapter in the format of alternating between the characters. I also have absolutely little idea of what Brigant is really like and it felt as if we got not nearly enough of what Pitoria is like because we spend most of the time in the forest or on plateaus. There were attempts at getting to see the people with Catherine but even those felt half hearted.
The characters are okay. I took a straight liking to Tasha. As a 13 year old with a very cutting and straight forward personality, she stands out from the others. But unfortunately in the role that she gets she doesn’t get to shine at all and I genuinely wonder what her importance is to the story. And it is a shame because I think if she had been more of a focus we could have gotten a very vibrant story.
As for the others they are okay but just do not stand out. There is so little there to hook me. I could like Edyon, March and Tsazyn. I see smidges of characters I could genuinely like, but I’m not getting everything with them. Just a portion, not the whole character. Or that is what it feels like to me. As the story progressed that got a little better.
I think from where the story left us, in the middle of a war, there is a chance for this story to take a leap forward because the idea of the smoke, the smoke thieves and the demons is an interesting one. It just did not come forward well enough in this book. And I’m just not sure I am interested enough to want to read it.