Review: The Smoke Thieves

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THE SMOKE THIEVES
SALLY GREEN
SERIES: The Smoke Thieves, #1
REPRESENTATION: Gay Character(s?)
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Fantasy
★★★☆

GOODREADS — BUY A COPY

 

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)

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 hadn’t actually planned on picking up The Smoke Thieves so I knew absolutely nothing about it going in and was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

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I found the story itself to be a really fast read despite the just shy of 500-page length. There were a few places where things dragged on a tad or where something was repeated unnecessarily but overall it held my attention well. The mystery over Lady Anne’s message and the revelations about Aloysius’ plans were fairly obvious from the get-go, but the characters made the journey worthwhile.

One of the biggest struggles I have with multiple POV books is that, inevitably, I find one character more interesting and start to skim chapters to get back to theirs. There are five POVs in The Smoke Thieves — Princess Catherine, her bodyguard and crush Ambrose, thief and illegitimate prince Edyon, servant and traitor March and demon hunter Tash. Of the five, Catherine was my runaway favourite, but I didn’t feel that any of the characters were uninteresting and there were no POVs I wanted to skip.

In terms of the romance, March and Edyon have a sweet sort of potential (with lots of angst on the way, I’m sure). There’s an interesting love triangle around Catherine — the guard she’s always loved and the Prince she’s betrothed to. I love how pragmatic Prince Tzsayn was about giving Catherine the choice between them (or whatever she wants) after the war. In fact, I think Tzsayn may have been my favourite character? Obviously, the perfect solution is for the three of them to get together… but I doubt that’s going to happen. I find that I’m not too bothered about any of the romances, to be honest, but I like the setup.

To be honest, I have no idea if I’ll read the next book. After I’d read this one I found out some pretty bad things about how the author’s last series ended (regarding the queer characters) so… I do own a copy of Half-Bad, so I might read it in the meantime and then decide. I’d love feedback from anyone who’s read Green’s other books.

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