The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1) by Sally Green
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2018)
Print Length: 532 pages
Audiobook Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Charlie, Anson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Yasmin Paige, Daniel Weyman, Asa Butterfield
A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A brave soldier turned traitor. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief with no clue about his true identity. Their lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth about demon smoke intertwines all their fates. Welcome to The Smoke Thieves, a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.
A behemoth of a novel, The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Theives #1) was exactly the type of high fantasy novel that I wanted to start 2019 with.
While I haven’t read Green’s ‘Half Bad’ trilogy, I was a tad apprehensive of devoting my time to a 500 page novel that has such mixed reviews in terms of pacing on Goodreads. However, Green’s writing was both intriguing and mature for a YA fantasy novel and I found it to be a breath of fresh air to read a book in the genre that was this long as it allowed Green to take her time unfolding her ideal world, magic, and characters. The prose had this quality to it that is both hard to explain, without having read it, and hard to put down, which was a pleasant surprise.
Likewise, Green’s ability to make me care about five points of view was astonishing. Usually, in YA fantasy with multiple PoV’s, I find myself caring about certain story lines over the other, The Smoke Thieves seemed to be an exception to the rule. I enjoyed learning about magic from Tash, (a demon hunter) about court politics from Catherine (a princess) and Ambrose (a soldier), and about the rebellion from March (a servant) and Edyon (a thief). I was also super grateful that all of the PoV’s eventually weaved into one cohesive story line, and I can’t wait to just get different perspectives on the same events in the next novel, The Demon World (The Smoke Thieves #2).
My only critique of The Smoke Thieves was that the dastardly villains of the novel were obvious from their first introduction as secondary characters. Typically, I enjoy to be surprised about a character turning bad, or a villain slinking out of the shadows, but Green made it pretty obvious as to who I was supposed to dislike, and as such I felt that the plot was missing that little something that would have pushed it to a five star read.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1) by Sally Green. Have any YA fantasy novels you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.