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The Smoke Thieves #1

The Smoke Thieves

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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. End is cliffhanger.

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?

538 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 3, 2018

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About the author

Sally Green

15 books3,809 followers
Hi - I'm Sally Green. I'm the author of the real-world/ fantasy Half Bad Trilogy, which is made up of Half Bad, Half Wild and Half Lost. Most people read them in that order but there's always a few who don't. Many people who read them are teenagers but there's a lot who aren't.

I'm currently working on a new series called The Smoke Thieves, which is due to be published in spring 2018 and is definitely fantasy (there will be a map).

I said I'd never write another trilogy after Half Bad but it seems I lied.

I live in a village in north-west England.

There's some stuff about the Half Bad trilogy at www.halfbadworld.com.

Follow me on twitter@sa11eGreen

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,514 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
May 2, 2018
“She thought of Ambrose still, every day”

Every paragraph, it felt like.

I'm really disappointed with The Smoke Thieves. I was hoping this would be an opportunity to rekindle my love for Green's books after Half Bad's sequels dampened it. Unfortunately, this is an overlong, generic fantasy story that is spread too thin across its five perspectives.

This book is being sold as a Game of Thrones for younger readers, or those looking for something more easy-to-digest than Martin's monstrous 1000-page volumes. But if that's what you're looking for, Rhodes's Falling Kingdoms series is much more palatable and manages its multiple POVs far more effectively.

The Smoke Thieves paints in some wishy washy Medieval-style world-building, in which conflicts exist between the vaguely-imagined lands of Calidor, Pitoria and Brigant (map included). Past invasions and wars have fuelled tensions between them leading to the current delicate peace period. Women here are largely viewed as second-class citizens and are expected to be subservient to men.

Into this come our five protagonists. The Calidorian princess, Catherine, is betrothed to Prince Tzsayn of Pitoria, but has some not-so-secret lusty feelings for her bodyguard, Ambrose. March is a servant to the prince and he comes from Abask - a small area of land that was destroyed in the war between Calidor and Brigant - and he longs for revenge. Edyon is a thief whom March is searching for, but they end up falling for each other instead. And Tash is a thirteen year-old demon hunter.

It was really difficult to settle into the perspective of any of the characters with the constant switching between them. The book was spread so thin across them all that I found myself never really connecting with anyone. Five perspectives is often a bit much in the hands of an author who handles them well; when not handled well, it is just plain bad.

There was also very little depth, intrigue or tension. Everything is black and white, with the villains - King Aloysius and Boris - being cartoonishly evil. Sometimes there was literally no reason at all for them to act the way they did. Many of the violent scenes felt gratuitous.

Both romances left something to be desired. Catherine and Ambrose are daydreaming about each other from the start of the book. There's absolutely zero chemistry or tension between them, no will they/won't they, and their "love" for one another seems to stem from nothing more than physical attraction. There's also something of a love triangle going on.

March was one of the least interesting characters, so his romance with Edyon failed to touch me either. I'm also concerned after reading the Half Bad series that

Then there's the fact that, for most of the book, the demon aspect and the "smoke" actually have very little bearing on anything. I'm assuming this will be developed in future installments, but it seems strange that the whole premise of the book doesn't play a bigger part.

It was just a boring and unexciting book, overall. I was unmoved by the characters and plot, and it didn't seem to do anything new or particularly engaging. The use of "fuck" in the Medieval-style setting felt jarring, too*. I have no desire to read on, even though the book's abrupt non-ending tries to demand it.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,373 reviews9,450 followers
August 28, 2019
I absolutely loved this book! I loved so many characters and hated the evil ones! There are some graphic scenes of killing etc in the book just so you know!

I'm excited for the next book! This one is a paperback with beautiful purple edges. I will add a pic later!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐺🐾
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.8k followers
July 4, 2018
so if you cant tell by the last 5 books or so that i have read, i am on a huge fantasy binge. but i think i may have to take a break after this one as it kinda threw off my rhythm.

not that this was bad - it was just so dang slow. when i want fantasy, i want quick action-packed books. and this was a slow burner, for sure. there were five different point of views, so a lot of introductions and build-up had to happen (im talking like 300 pages worth) before anything exciting even takes place. but it did eventually pick up when the five POV finally converged and everything started to come together. i think a lot of groundwork was laid, so hopefully that means the sequel will be even better plot-wise.

like i said, this wasnt bad, i just wish it had held my attention more consistently. but i do think it showed a lot promise for the books to come! this is a definite must read for those who would enjoy a light medieval fantasy story.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 20 books13.1k followers
January 10, 2018
Well wow.

I must admit I was so nervous about reading this book because I loved the Half Bad series so much. I didn't really know what this book was about, other than it was a historical fantasy. Sally had mentioned a year or two ago to me that she was writing a fantasy, and at that time I told myself I wanted to know NOTHING and go into it blind...

SO, I finished it. QUICK and it is a beast of a book. It really is a fabulous fantasy story. The numerous characters give us a Game of Thrones vibe and the unique world, politics and 'magic' - I use this word lightly because it's not really magic in the way we think of it. It comes in the form of smoke from demons.

My favorite characters - March & Edyon.
I also loved March. Her storyline really tugged at my heartstrings.

I already can't wait for book two... I just wish I had it now. Can't wait for the day when someone creates a time travel machine for book lovers!

Green successful created a new fantasy world to obsesses over. Exciting, breath-taking and bloody, The Smoke Thieves is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones with a dash of The Queen of the Tearling.
Profile Image for *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*.
242 reviews68 followers
March 25, 2018
Totally brilliant....review to come!

Here it is....... I loved Half Bad and I was nervous about whether this book would work, would it be any good, could Sally Green do it again and have another success on her hands..... well the answer is yes to all of those questions, this book is a gem of a fantasy read and if others don't like it I'll be horrifically disappointed as I loved it!

The Smoke Thieves is a completely different deal than the wonderful Half Bad as Sally Green steps away from the Paranormal/Supernatural field and ventures in the world of Young Adult Fantasy (with a few added demons!) with great aplomb. There is a wide cast of characters from a demon hunter to a thief, a princess in love with a soldier and there is even a traitor to boot. All the characters are spread across Sally Green's new fantastical world in turmoil and even I struggled to see how exactly she'd pull them all together coherently by the end of the book, how all the varying plot threads would twist themselves together but have faith as Green really does pull out all the stops by keeping the pace high flying and fast, by keeping the reader entranced and engulfed by the action that flows so quickly you can hardly catch your breath. The characters are all completely contrasting, so very different from each other and all have their flaws that shine out and make them incredibly believable and earthy.

All in all The Smoke Thieves is a bona fide treasure of a book, a YA fantasy classic in the making and a brilliant way to begin a new series for Sally Green. This book had me enthralled, mesmerized and simply bewitched with compelling characters and a highly structured and all-consuming plot...... magnificent and scintillating!
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
188 reviews108 followers
April 2, 2019
Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5

The Smoke Thieves was a sprawling tale about a vicious fight for power and the people caught in the crossfire, fighting for their freedom and a better world. There were five points of view and five main characters and each of their individual stories were like threads weaving together to form the tapestry of the wider novel.

I liked all of the different points of view and it was really interesting to learn about all of the different character's stories from their own perspectives. It was also intriguing to see the separate plots slowly come together. However, as it usually is when a book has many points of view, none of the main characters got enough 'screen time' and the story was very, very slow paced as we had to be introduced to each character at a time.

----------The POV Characters----------

-----Tash ~The Hunter-----

Tash was a 13-year-old girl who was a demon hunter in a country called Pitoria. Her partner was a man called Gravell who was more of a father figure to her than anything else. We don't learn that much about demons in the book apart from the fact that when they die they emit a gaseous substance called 'smoke' that was basically a drug when inhaled by humans. Smoke was illegal in Pitoria but there was a lucrative black market for it that Tash and Gravell dealt in. Tash was the bait to lure the demons out of their homes because she was small and fast. Gravell was the one who actually killed the demons. I didn't think it was right to put a child in danger like that but Tash thought it was a good job and loved Gravell as if he were her father because she didn't know any better. She was very cheeky, insolent and childish but also very smart and witty. I also found her so adorable.

-----Catherine ~The Princess-----

Catherine was the princess of a country called Brigant that, in general, did not value women at all. Her father and brothers tried to restrict and control every aspect of her life and didn't treat her as if she were worth anything even though she was their family. At the start of the novel she was betrothed to Prince Tzayn of Pitoria, a man she had never met, and she was preparing to go to Pitoria for her wedding and make it her new home. I liked Catherine and her character development in the novel. She really came into her own and learnt how to make her own decisions and make a place for herself in the world. Then again, the fact that she was a princess definitely helped her and made it much easier for her to earn respect and find her voice. Many women around the world today aren't so lucky. The main thing that annoyed me about Catherine, to be honest, was that she was in love with her guard called Ambrose. Every one of her chapters mentioned how much she adored him, admired him and wished she could be with him and it was incredibly infuriating. Apart from that, she was interesting to read about and was my favourite character by far.

-----Ambrose ~ The Soldier-----

Ambrose was a soldier and one of Catherine's personal guards. He was also in love with her but they both knew they could never be together. Nevertheless, he was fiercely loyal to her and to all those he cared about and was very bad at hiding his emotions. When his sister was executed (apparently for being a traitor), he knew there was more to the situation than met the eye and decided to investigate further into the matter. I thought he was an alright character but very, very predictable.

-----March ~ The Traitor-----

March was an Abask, who were a group of mountain dwelling people. He was also a slave to the King of Calidor. A few years ago, the Kings of Calidor and the Brigant had a war (even though they were brothers) and during that war the King of Calidor betrayed the Abask people and most of them were killed. March was one of the only ones left. In the book, he embarks on a journey to extract his revenge on the King of Calidor by kidnapping his only living heir and turning him over to Brigant. March was a good character but a bit bland and two-dimensional at times.

-----Edyon ~The Thief-----

Edyon was the illegitimate son of the King of Calidor and his only living heir. He had no idea who his father was and lived in Pitoria with his mother. He also had a stealing addiction and had impulses to steal random things that he would never use and if he was caught he was very good at lying his way out of the situation. At the start of the book he goes to a fortune teller and she tells him he has two paths in life, either a hard one that would lead him to riches and comfort or another path that was surrounded by death. It was interesting to see how this prophecy affected him and his decisions in the novel. I didn't really know what to think about Edyon. His life was one giant mess and he was constantly trying and failing to sort it out and become a better person. It was obvious that he had feelings for March, I think March reciprocated his feelings but their relationship will probably develop more in the next book.

Overall, I think the world building and plot in The Smoke Thieves was pretty good considering the amount of perspectives and places mentioned. I would recommend it to fans of epic fantasy although I know it probably will not be every fantasy fan's cup of tea.

Trigger Warnings: violence, torture

This review and more can be found at Sereadipity.
Profile Image for Insi Eule.
476 reviews41 followers
August 7, 2021
Das war richtig spannend und hat mir unglaublich gut gefallen. Der Schreibstil ist sehr flüssig und ich bin gefühlt durch das dicke Buch geflogen.
Die Charaktere sind mir auch allesamt ans Herz gewachsen, einige mehr, andere weniger, aber ich fand sie toll gezeichnet und habe sie gerne begleitet. Wir haben hier auch immer wieder wechselnde Perspektiven. So eine Dynamik mag ich immer sehr und hat auch super zur Geschichte gepasst. Man kann auch prima miträtseln. Alles in allem fällt mir wirklich kein Kritikpunkt ein. Ich bin jetzt sehr gespannt wie es weiter geht, es gab schon einen kleinen gemeinen Cliffhanger am Ende 🤭
Profile Image for Helen.
159 reviews69 followers
April 18, 2018

For the first book in a series, Smoke Thieves introduced an intriguing array of characters and set the scene nicely for the following books. However, as a fan of more intricately-plotted fantasy with a real emphasis on world-building this book failed to make a lasting impression on me. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to fans of light fantasy for sure, but I'm still undecided as to whether I'll continue the series.

The story takes place across three kingdoms Brigant, Calidor and Pitoria, and shifts between multiple perspectives. The characters were the best thing about the book. Our POVs represented a real spectrum of backgrounds and characteristics, and they all had something which helped the reader relate to them. For the majority of the book, the main characters are set on different paths but they're all tied together nicely by the end. The best relationship was the friendship between Tash and Gravell, who have made a career hunting demons together. You just have to ignore the fact that he technically bought her off her family (she didn't like them anyway).

I'm not usually a fan of the romances that tend to populate fantasy novels nowadays but I didn't mind Catherine and Ambrose's not-so-secret pining for each other because at least it didn't dominate their respective chapters. They both interacted with different people and had concerns outside of their love life so I'm willing to let this glaring cliche (princess betrothed to prince falls for sexy bodyguard instead) pass.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Smoke Thieves and liked every one of the characters, which for me is high praise indeed. It just lacked the colour, and the spark, that other more noteworthy fantasy novels have had. But, as fantasy series go, this one is shaping up to be pretty decent.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for providing a copy for review
Profile Image for Emma.
2,386 reviews811 followers
January 14, 2020
This was really very good but frustrating at the same time. The story is told from several characters’ points of view and it is obvious that their paths will cross from fairly early on. But they don’t all meet up until the last part of the book. Also, it ends just as the story is coming together and leaves an eager reader hanging on for the next book! The characters in the book are well fleshed out. There is a lot of action especially towards the end. I really enjoyed what has been revealed of demon hunting, of King Aloysius’ motivation for war, and the character development particularly of Princess Catherine. We are left wondering whether Catherine will choose either of her two suitors. I liked the fact that not all of the characters we meet survive. The pacing was just a little slow in the middle. Very much enjoyed and recommended.
Thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Leah City of Words and Pages.
514 reviews234 followers
February 20, 2020
Puuuuh ... Das ist echt schwierig ...

Ich glaube, dass es für mich noch schwieriger gewesen wäre dieses Buch zu lesen, anstatt es als Hörbuch zu hören.

Die Geschichte hat sich so toll angehört!
Verschiedene Charaktere, die man an unterschiedlichen Orten begleitet, wobei sie mehr miteinander zu tun haben werden, als man zunächst denkt.

Wo war das Problem?

Bei mir lag es hauptsächlich an der Umsetzung, denn die Idee war super!
Insgesamt gab es zu wenig von allem.
Zu wenig Spannung, die Charaktere waren nicht greifbar, die Liebesgeschichte war total oberflächlich und nicht gut ausgearbeitet sowie unrealistisch und dadurch war es langweilig und hat sich gezogen.

Nach den ersten 300 Seiten wurde es tendenziell besser, aber bei weitem noch nicht so gut, wie es vielleicht hätte sein können ...

Leider, leider nicht mein Buch!
Profile Image for Atlas.
668 reviews27 followers
June 28, 2018
It was a little ambitious and a little insane

* *
2 / 5

I read and liked Green's "Half Bad", but it wasn't really my genre. The Smoke Thieves, however, seemed right up my reading alley - a fantasy novel, a princess looking to rebel, a demon hunter, some sort of intriguing political skulduggery - but unfortunately I was pretty disappointed. It felt like a was reading a novel aimed at thirteen year olds, but it had the occasional "adult" language and scenes thrown in that seemed like a cheap attempt to appeal to an older audience.

Men and power. They loved it and were addicted to it more than she could understand

Contrary to the synopsis of the book, The Smoke Thieves has five main characters, all of which had their own chapters. I liked two of them. Let's start with those! Tash is a thirteen year old girl who hunts demons with her mentor, a gruff older man called Gravell. She's spunky and bold and runs like the wind. Together, the two hunt demons for the smoke they expel when they die, which people use to get high off. It's also incredibly illegal, so they live a life constantly on the move. Despite the title, The Smoke Thieves, it's only really Tash's chapters and the very end that actually have anything to do with demons or their smoke...

Then we have March, a servant to the Prince of Calidor. Calidor was at war with Brigant and in the process destroyed March's homeland, the country of Abask. March seeks revenge and travels to Pitoria to find the Prince's illegitimate son and deliver him to Brigant, to see the Prince suffer as he had suffered. I felt a lot of sympathy for March and high hopes for his romance arc. In tricking the Prince's son, Edyon, March begins to fall in love with him. Unfortunately, Edyon is a bit of a boring flat pancake and seems like a bit of an idiot.

When I represent my country I am not a woman: I am a land and a people and a queen

Then we have Princess Catherine of Brigant, a country that is seriously sexist and her brother is an absolute ass, who is betrothed to the Prince of Pitoria. Unfortunately, 90% of her thoughts are occupied by our final character, Ambrose. I didn't care one whit about Ambrose's chapters, which mostly consist of travelling and thinking about how he can't be with Catherine because of her station. Catherine, who is a bit more interesting, spends her time trying to win over the people of her new kingdom, thinking about how much her life sucks (it does, it's depressing to read about), and daydreaming about Ambrose.

Five characters is a lot; it's far too much when only a few of them are even likeable or interesting. Most of them have separate arcs and journeys, only really joining together at the end, and whilst I admire Green's ambition, it didn't really work. The story is very slow, it takes a long time for an overall plot to emerge, and there's way too much focus on the romance. The twists at the end don't really make sense and it's all a bit black and white: some guys are clearly good, others are cartoonishly evil.

The Smoke Thieves would have appealed to me more when I was thirteen, but the book clearly seems aimed at older teenagers. The result is an unfocused book that drags on.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this book.

Read this review and more on my blog: https://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.co...
Profile Image for cerys.
178 reviews334 followers
May 3, 2018
oh wow. woww wow wow.
these characters are phenomenal. This book is told from 5 different main character point of views and they are all amazing and so different and diverse! We have a child demon hunter, a guy who just found out he's a prince (whose also a thief - he can't help himself ok?), a hella awesome princess, a cute badass soldier (who has the worst luck, I cried for him) and this traitor who hates everything, but not really. He's a great guy.

Sally Green is a genius. Seriously, I don't have one bad thing to say about this book and that's really rare for me. You know what I loved most of all? There was no insta love. Not one tiny drop. Even though one of the main plot lines is an arranged marriage, there is none. All of the relationships are incredibly slow burn and its executed fantastically. Also the relationships that are developing are adorable and I'm rooting for them so hard.

ALSO this book was a realistic fantasy book! I never understand when in most fantasy books there are these big battles and fights but not one of the characters dies. Yeah, I don't like my favourite characters dying, but it's not very realistic is it? But oh no. This book throws that out the window and there is lots of gore, torture and death. The death is tremendous. Let's just say that I love the side characters a whole lot.

I'm ridiculously excited for the next book, t's kind of unfair that I have to wait another year? I mean.. cliffhanger central. I need the relationships to sail and the battle to commence ahhh.

Go order this book or snatch it from a bookstore...just get your hands on it. I know I'm going to love this book for many years to come.

Profile Image for Beth.
658 reviews566 followers
January 1, 2021
I’m hoping I can do a full review for this, I honestly really really enjoyed it! I haven’t been able to read a fantasy book so quickly in a while, there were a few issues but for enjoyment alone I’m sticking with 5 stars!
Turns out I'm a filthy Liar when I say I want to review something...

The Smoke Thieves - 5 Stars
The Demon World - 4 Stars
The Burning Kingdoms - 2 Stars
Profile Image for Papierfliegerin.
560 reviews82 followers
September 22, 2019
Der Auftakt der "Kingdoms of Smoke" Reihe ist klassische High Fantasy sowohl mit allseits bekannten und bewährten Elementen; aber auch mit der nötigen Frische, um interessant zu bleiben. Für mich eine Geschichte, die mich, wie es der Klappentext schon ankündigt, mit Haut und Haaren in ihren Bann ziehen konnte und einfach atemlos durch die Seiten trieb. Vielschichtige, sympathische Charaktere und ein leicht verständlicher, und trotzdem atmosphärischer Schreibstil sowie zahlreiche Wendungen und Überraschungen haben dieses Buch für mich zum Highlight werden lassen. Falls ihr jetzt Lust bekommen habt, euch meine ganze Rezension anzuschauen, dann werft gern einen Blick » hier « her und stöbert ein bisschen. Viel Spaß dabei ♥
Profile Image for Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems.
470 reviews214 followers
March 27, 2020
I wanted this to be so much better than it was. RTC.

EDIT- That RTC is the biggest lie I ever told. I totally forgot that I didn't review this and now I barely remember anything.

Bit bland, very slow, didn't care about anyone really...kinda liked March but honestly, I don't remember a single thing that happened in this book. In fact- changed my rating to 2* because this book had such little impact and was so slow- evidence it took me nearly two months to read this book. TWO. MONTHS.
Profile Image for Lamaleluna.
279 reviews1,066 followers
March 25, 2019
Los ladrones de humo, reci��n terminada la lectura no puedo no contarles que me pareció! 😍
Este libro nos presenta cinco protagonistas cuyas historias son muy distintas pero poco a poco se van entrelazando.
Catherine, princesa de Brigant, enamorada de Ambrose sabe que no puede casarse con él porque está prometida con el príncipe de otro reino.
Ambrose, soldado de Brigant, hará lo que sea por defender a su amada.
Tash, una joven de 13 años que dedica su vida a matar demonios y extraer su humo para el consumo.
Marcio, sirviente de un principe que arrasó con su pueblo matandolos a todos. Jura venganza.
Edyon, no puede evitar la tentación de robar pero jura no volver a hacerlo después de meterse en problemas.
durante todo el libro se van a ir generando encuentros y desencuentros y todo en torno a un único problema, el humo del demonio. ¿Quien es dueño del humo del demonio?, ¿Que se planea hacer con él?
poco a poco se va a ir desatando una guerra en donde los personajes deberán decidir de qué lado están y cómo involucrarse.
El libro me gustó un montón, a todos los fans de los libros de guerra, fantasía, realeza y demás les va a encantar! (Saben que estás características tienen todos mis libros favoritos)
Es trilogía y espero pronto la segunda parte en español para saber cómo continúa la historia. No hay nada que me haya decepcionado, quizá algunas escenas se me hicieron un poco lentas, pero en general el libro es súper entretenido.
Léanlo si tienen la oportunidad!!! No van a dejar de enamorarse! 😍💜
PD: hay mucha muerte! Cómo sufrí 😂😭
Yo leyendo los ladrones de humo: 🤗😏😮😲😆
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-coverporn-etc'
April 24, 2018
someone just recommended this to me directly as having "lgbtq rep" which is great, but why in god's name would I read, for the Gay Content, a book by an author who literally killed both their gay characters? answer me this. why would I trust that they wouldn't die? why would i ever have any reason to believe in her? why would i ever read a book for lgbtq rep by an author who has already proven quite definitively she does not give one shit about the lgbtq community? why would I do that. tell me why.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for L. | That_Bookdragon.
252 reviews12 followers
February 8, 2019

I tried, I really tried but no. I pushed myself until page 187 and it's so damn slow. I've read some reviews which said it starts picking up around page 300 but I don't think I'll have the patience to read more and I don't want to enter a reading slump because of this, so let's just move on.

I did like Tash's character, but that's all. I could definitely also see where the Game of Thrones comparison came from but honestly I feel like the Falling Kingdom series by Morgan Rhodes would do a better job at juggling with five different POVs.

I'm not going to rate it because even though I DNF'd it I still have mixed feelings about it.
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
September 12, 2019
This was a surprisingly good read. I got it awhile ago but forgot about it until recently, I was going through my books, saw it and decided to read it.

I enjoyed the storyline: It has suspense, betrayal and demons. It's divided into 4 POVS, all of them start in separate places with separate storylines (until they run into each other)

We have Catherine a princess in a kingdom that has no regards for women. She is being forced to marry a Prince from another land for political gains even though she's in love with her bodyguard.

We have March, a servant/slave of a Prince who betrays his (March's) people. Secretly, he spies on the Prince, to know his weakness so he can get revenge on him

We have Edyon who wants to be a lawyer but because of his status (he's a bastard) he can't achieve his dreams. So he goes to a sear to reveal his future. He also has a thieving problem

Lastly, there is Tash, a demon-smoke collector. Collecting demon smoke is illegal. it's like a drug that people can get high on (and has other dangerous effects). It also is a sought after commodity

lol I kinda liked the bad guys. They're savage with no regards to anyone. They seemed almost mad with how bold their approach was

What I didn't like
I thought the book had a lot of coincidences. People kept on meeting people at the right place at the right time. It felt too convenient. Plus, the characters kept guessing what the major plot points were before it happened so there was hardly any 'wow' factor

I found the romance to be 'eh'. Catherine and her bodyguard loved themselves before the book starts so there was no 'sparks flying' stage.
Profile Image for Kyle.
374 reviews541 followers
July 9, 2020
I wasn’t expecting to like this one so much. I’d seen the mixed reviews, and was apprehensive, to say the least. I’ve been scouring Goodreads and the Litverse for a worthy YA Fantasy that had all the elements I sought: I craved a book that didn’t shy away from violence (there are a LOT of grisly deaths in this first installment) and properly coarse language, as well as one that employed queer elements... and The Smoke Thieves delivered beautifully. It made me take another look at the slew of (unjustified, in my opinion) one star reviews. I don’t think this book deserves the overall low-ish score it has on Goodreads, when there are more undeserving YA Fantasy that skate by on hype and little substance.

Some may be put off by the five POV’s here, but I wasn’t one of them. For once, I actually think they all worked well with one another. My one complaint about the POV’s: It took 126 pages, and four separate MC narratives, until we were finally introduced to the fifth main character. I don’t think the delay was entirely necessary, but the characters all shone in their own right come the conclusion.

The story is engaging—and only dragged a few times—, keeping my interest throughout. We have demons and war and thieves and death and palace intrigue and burgeoning romance (and THANK ALL THE HIGHER BEINGS that the romance wasn’t all-consuming and cloyingly-sweet as in most YA). It’s written well, and the pace just right; We’re given enough time with each character to be invested in all their separate goals /wants. Some have compared this book to a YA GoT, and I agree with that. I can’t wait to dive on in to the next installment!
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
571 reviews654 followers
September 3, 2018
This book is super slow.. I feel like im running in the mud when I read this book, I want this to be fast read but instead its dragging me… the main problem why it happened because of the writing style, its too simple to my liking! I mean I like simple writing style but this one felt almost like middle grade style but with a lot of CURSES, plus there are 5 POVs on this book and I ussualy love multiple point of views but  the characters here are one dimentional, I felt nothing to any of them and they all can go doomed for i care, Tash is probably the only likeable character here but the rest of them felt so NAIVE and dull and felt stupid (Catherine, Ambrose, March and Edolyn)

I expected to be a lot of MAGIC here (because look at that title!!) but instead there is only few magic here, 90% of the story is about travelling here and there. The romance… hmm… again I felt nothing, it felt force and ridiculous esp Ambrose and Catherine’s part and i smell love triangle too *sigh*

The plot is pretty simple (so no jaw dropping moment or twist) but again its boring cause the first 300 pages nothing actually happened, the last 200 pages is okay but the time finally something happened and the all POVs collided… I already felt bored to death!!

Anyway, this is my 1st Sally Green’s book and think it will be my last too 😑
Profile Image for nemo the emo ☠️ (pagesandprozac).
850 reviews399 followers
Shelved as 'nein-nein-nein'
April 24, 2018
this might be good, but i'm not reading it. sally green is one of my blacklisted authors.

and since i very, VERY rarely blacklist authors (usually i will read them but put their books on my coveted "author-is-a-dick-but-good-writer" shelf) that is saying a LOT. literally the ONLY other person i can think of is the author of Handbook for Mortals, who bought her way onto the bestseller list.

if you're interested, this is why. (contains spoilers for Half Lost)
Profile Image for Zoë ☆.
892 reviews181 followers
October 28, 2019
I really liked this book!
The world was so complex, but that also made it really interesting to read about!
I really liked the five different POV's, though it took me a while to get used to it. After the first 100 pages I was really confused about who was who and what they wanted etc., but after a while I got it again! :)
The story was full of betrayal, thievery and fighting, but also romance which was cool! I really began to care for some of the characters.

I am really curious about the rest of the series ! :D
Profile Image for Umut.
355 reviews166 followers
April 26, 2018
Overall, it was an enjoyable read most of the time, but I think it has lots of gaps to be a great series than an average one. I see very mixed reviews on Goodreads too. For now I’m guessing I enjoyed it enough to continue to the series. And I’m very curious because of the big cliff hanger ending 🙂
What I liked about the book:
1. We start the book with Princess Catherine, who was the character which hooked me all the way through. A part of the story is quite ordinary with kingdoms, princes, power wars, etc. Even then, among this, I think Princess Catherine was a special character that I cared for.
2. The ordinary kingdom story got connected with the fantasy of demon smoke at the end, which made it more interesting. And I think we will read more of that aspect in the sequel.
3. Although, the story was not so original as I said, the writing made it still nice to read.
4. The end was really good. I think Green connected the characters and stories really well and left it with a cliff hanger that drives you crazy 🙂
What could be better:
1. The book was too long. Some characters are not as interesting, and we went into other side stories in deep, which made the book long and at times, boring. It would be better if there are less parts from so many characters, and the story connected sooner.
2. I think people are asking if there are TWs. At the very beginning of the book, there’s a violent scene that’s very graphic. I admit it upset me a lot that I was going to DNF the book. But, somehow I continued and there were no other graphic description after that. So, don’t think the book is like that all throughout. Nevertheless, I’m against those graphic descriptions, so I didn’t like it anyway.
3. The story could be more imaginative and original. Most of it was the usual kingdom politics, which we read in many many YA fantasies.
I will read the sequel as I’m curious about Catherine’s evolution, and the follow up of the events.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin publishers for granting an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,385 reviews978 followers
February 17, 2018
I wondered when I finished the “Half Bad” series how on earth Sally Green would follow that up with anything even close to it’s addictive brilliance – turns out that wasn’t even a problem as she brings us “The Smoke Thieves” a multi-layered character drama set in a politically unstable fantasy world.

Five teenagers, their fates inextricably linked, even though they don’t yet know it, forms the heart of the plot. All of them have their own fascinatingly intriguing background and the author slowly but surely builds us a picture of their individual worlds and how they are headed on a collision course, drawing the reader into a hugely adventurous and entertaining piece of storytelling.

I was especially drawn to Catherine, who is intelligent yet resigned to her fate, it is even a fate she welcomes – until she begins to understand the evil that men do – and to Tash, demon hunter, lover of boots, growing up in a tumultuous world. All our main protagonists however are beautifully drawn, engaging and diverse.

The world building is brilliant once more, I loved the demon aspect, hoping to find out more about that particular strand in future novels – the political landscape is cleverly divisive and the plotting is taut and cleverly written, I immersed myself into this world and once I had a handle on it I read this fast, one of those books where you think “just one more chapter” then suddenly you are done.

I’m loathe to give too much away – but if you loved the Half Bad series for it’s realistically flawed and highly relatable characters, for the ebb and flow of the relationships and for the reading trauma fuelled storytelling then you are going to ADORE The Smoke Thieves which does all that but better. I am on tenterhooks for book two – this is going to be one heck of a ride.

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Juan Manuel Sarmiento.
668 reviews129 followers
November 7, 2019
Este inicio de trilogía es una historia MUY diferente a lo que nos mostró la autora con su saga de Una vida oculta. Por lo que si quieres leer Los Ladrones de Humo esperando algo parecido a El Lado Oscuro, quizás te lleves una pequeña decepción. Eso no significa que sea una mala novela, solo que igual no es para todos los públicos. Pero si te gustan los tipos de historias que mencioné antes, entonces te recomiendo echarle un vistazo, tanto si conocías a la autora como si no.

Prepárate para encontrar demonios, intrigas políticas, violencia, viajes, discursos feministas, e incluso algo de romance.

Reseña completa en THE BEST READ YET BLOG
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books476 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
April 20, 2021
'Then they had fought, as only brothers could, with hate more passionate because they shared the same blood, and as only rulers could—with armies.'

DNF @ 56% because I only came for a guard-turned-legit-romantic-interest trope (THAT WAS BARELY INVOLVED) and instead got too many POV's, too many characters I disliked with not enough focus on the few characters that I actually kinda cared about . . . and an odd, confusing, trying-to-be-complex-but-in-reality-is-just-a-mess type of plot.


[click H E R E for a review that gets more into WHY this book isn't all that great]
Profile Image for Elena Druță.
Author 5 books383 followers
August 4, 2022
Hoții de fum de Sally Green a fost o lectură de care aproape că nu am putut să mă dezlipesc - multe fire narative, magie, comploturi politice, personaje pe care ți-e mai mare dragul să le urmărești.
Faptul că sunt mai multe fire narative nu a fost deloc deranjant - autoarea a reușit să le îmbine armonios și abia așteptam clipa în care toate personajele de interes vor ajunge în același loc. De asemenea, nu mai am răbdare să citesc continuarea.
Recenzia mea, aici.
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