A princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief.
Five teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands.
Five nations destined for conflict.
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father, while her true love, Ambrose, faces the executioner’s block.
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 five 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?
The Smoke Thieves gets off to a promising start, and not just because I can’t resist a book with a map at the beginning. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the five main characters, and this keeps the book moving along nicely, as the action moves around their very different environments. When books are written in this way, I often find that I am drawn more to one character than the others, and I end up speed reading chapters just to get back to my favourite character more quickly. However, I found each of the characters equally endearing in very different ways, and I was keen to catch back up with each of them in turn – and equally keen to see when or if their paths would eventually converge.
Aside from the five main characters, I feel I should also mention demon hunter Gravell, who despite appearances cares deeply for his young apprentice, and sinister inquisitor Noyes, who, quite frankly is just plain creepy, skulking around in the background.
There were a few areas of the book that I found a little slow and overly concerned with the politics of war, but not to the extend that I would be put off reading the next book in the series. In fact, after that ending, I will be queuing up for the next book.