“The Smoke Thieves” is a great start on a young adult fantasy series!
The fates of five different persons are intertwined on a path to survival on this medieval fantasy world. There are four kingdoms from which the five main characters come. Those kingdoms are either peaceful or not. They will however found themselves at war, fighting for their freedom or more power.
Princess Catherine of Brigant, a country known for its wars and fighters, is preparing herself to be married to a person she never even met, Prince Tzsayn of Pitoria. Pitoria is a peaceful neighboring kingdom to Brigant and everyone is happy to know of that wedding, as it will ensure Brigant’s eastern borders as well as will add to its wealth that went down after the war to Calidor.
Ambrose is Princess Catherine’s guard, and not only that. He is the second son of a marquess and he is a great warrior who has chosen honor by joining the Royal Guard. He is also in love with the Princess and his heart hurts knowing that she is to be married to another man. Alas, there is not much he can do about that!
March is a servant to Calidor’s King, but that was not always his place. He used to be a free man in Abask, but during the war between Brigant and Calidor, Abask stood in the way and the Calidorian failed to protect them, as he promised. Now all his people are dead and he seeks revenge.
He will find a way to revenge, when he hears of the King’s illegitimate son, Edyon, who lives in Pitoria with his mother. Edyon’s mother is a trader. She trades furniture while Edyon cannot help himself from thievery. He just cannot help it, which is how he founds himself in trouble, when he steals from a demon hunter.
The demon hunter, Gravell, is big and hairy and has a thirteen year old girl for a companion. The girl, Tash, is the demon bait, as she runs like the wind and lures the demons to Gravell’s trap. She has been born in Illast, which is neighboring Pitoria, and she was selected for this job due to her fast running ability! Their business is dangerous as getting the demon smoke is not easy. This means its price is high though!
In this first installment of the series, we get to know about the world and the different kingdoms, through the narrations of these five main characters. Each one of them are found in a different place, and start unravelling their own stories, however, it is more that obvious that their paths will eventually cross. And they do cross, since they all meet up as the book reaches its end, and they become a sort of a companion in a cold, hostile and dangerous territory.
As the story is told from five different point of views, the reader is able to get to know the characters and their perspective pretty thoroughly. There are their thoughts and acts and the reason for their acts, which is justified through their saying.
The author has done a marvelous work on the world building, as we get to know of the differences among the kingdoms, based on the different landscapes, the politics, the habits of their people, the accents, the hair and eye colors and so much more. There is striking difference between Brigant and Pitoria which is making a huge impact on the story itself and how things turn out in the end.
And the end is the mother of cliffhangers! A great way to get all readers hooked to the series, waiting for the next in line!
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About the author:
British author Sally Green is creator of the Half Bad trilogy, a teen fantasy series with an adult edge that’s been described as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four with witches’.
Sally Green lives in north-west England. In 2010 she started writing and hasn’t stopped since.