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The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
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really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fantasy, 2018-arcs

Release date: May 1, 2018

3.5 stars. I thought this was a great start to a series and think it's going to be super popular! I was a bit more enthusiastic at the start, but still like the way everything turned out.

The Game of Thrones comparison might set up the reader to be a bit underwhelmed, but there definitely is an amazing high fantasy world here with a lot of different POVs and kingdoms at war.

I absolutely love Catherine's POV. She's a princess in a land where women are totally oppressed, yet she gains agency throughout the course of the story and really forges her own path. She's in love with her guard, who also has his own POV. Honestly, almost every character in this story has their own POV... and about half of them are completely unnecessary. I did like how they were all spread out geographically and then converged towards the end because it helped give a broader sense of the world and conflicts, but so much page time was dedicated to all of the various characters that even the strongest POVs ended up becoming pretty weak by the end. Most of the romance, tension, and sense of urgency just fizzled out.

And because I know people will message me to ask: there was lots of swearing, a lot of demons, no sex, and some graphic violence. I'm not sure how comfortable some religions will be with the parts about inhaling demon smoke (it's like a drug). Hope that helps.

Otherwise, I'm still pretty excited to see where the next book goes! I was still really entertained by the story and thought the premise was creative. The first half of this book was AMAZING and the second half definitely set up the rest of the series to be strong!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!
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