Book Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (spoiler-free)

Thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me a review copy of The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green! All thoughts and opinion in this review are of my own.


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.

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?

39127492My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Publication Date: 1st July 2018
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

This book took me AGES to finish thanks to uni work and real life. I’ve heard great things from my friends about Green’s other work – The Half Bad trilogy – but I never got the chance to read it, so this makes The Smoke Thieves my very first Sally Green book! I was pretty excited to pick it up, and did I enjoy it overall? I reckon did~~~ But, it was all a bit of a blur here and there when compared to other similar YA fantasy novels that I’ve read, and tbh I really do blame myself a bit for not finishing it in a smaller time frame… oops.

Anyways, I reckon the main reasons why I didn’t like it as much is because of the amount of perspectives/ narrators – we have a total of 5 (?)- and oh damn my head hurts just by counting and thinking about it.

Moving on, it was just so slow for me like 70% of the time! And there are 953483 countries and towns and individuals and I gave up looking backwards and forward to try to keep track of things. Although the whole multi-POV thing totally backfired on me, it might work really well for those who LOVE multiple POVs (not 1-2) with intense amount of details. BY ALL MEANS, the world building is luscious and very well developed. I am actually quite surprised with the amount of work Green has put into crafting the countries, customs and the world in general.

I particularly enjoyed reading the chapters narrated by Catherine, the Princess who is sent across the ocean to marry this random foreign prince. I like the way she tries to challenge norms and just be who she wants to be. There IS romance, yes yes *sigh*… I don’t know about you but this troupe where the “here’s this royal who is betrothed to another decent royal but is also falling for dis cute childhood friend/bodyguard/somebody-who-cares-too-much-or-not-at-all” is kinda getting boring… and I mean it might work for some, but for me, it’s a no – there’s already so much going on everywhere and I think the romance in this one is very mediocre. Maybe in the next instalment we might see something actually happening to compensate for the lack thereof in book 1.

There’s potential in this series I BELIEVE IN IT but I just hope it’s not as dragged out as this first one. AND ONE MORE THING: this book is sexists as heck. I totally understand that there’s a need to show that this country is horrible blah blah blah, but ugh I just wanted to throw up at those scenes where women were treated so unjustly. So, FYI.

Overall, I probably will read the sequel, because I actually do care for a few characters, and I am kinda invested in the story. I do hope that book 2 is much denser than this one so I won’t be reading about one’s walk for 15 pages or something, that’ll be nice.

Have you read The Smoke Thieves? Comment your thoughts if you have! Happy reading in the mean time!

Wings out.

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© Bibliophilic Med Student 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission. All opinions are my own and you can find me on Instagram @bibliomeds and Twitter. You can also add me on Goodreads.


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