Book Review | The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Review time! Honestly, I’ve been putting this one off because I really wanted to love it based off the synopsis but I just couldn’t really get into it. It took me far too long to read it as a result but anyway, read on for my full review…

Title: The Smoke Thieves
Series: The Smoke Thieves #1
Author: Sally Green
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 3rd May 2018
Pages: 512
Source: eARC provided through NetGalley by Penguin (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased)


‘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?’


Major apologies for how late this review is! Unfortunately The Smoke Thieves was one of the books caught up in my dissertation month but better late than never, right? Personally it took me a little too long to get into this story than I would have liked, and it left me needing to go back and read a little at a time to finish it.

In the end I was relieved but it was only down to three of the main characters, which left two perspectives that I cared less for. First up, Catherine’s character (the Princess) was my all time favourite from the book. I loved how strong and smart she was and her side to the story is really what kept me reading. The hunter, Tash, was my second favourite. I didn’t like her at first because she was like a 12 year old who swore like mad and I guess that’s just one of my personal pet peeves with a character but just because I’m not a fan of swearing generally even when the character is like 50. Edyon was another I found endearing – the Thief – he was quite the joker and I loved how open he was with his feelings too. He’s also a character who is either bisexual or gay whilst technically being a prince, and I’m always a fan of seeing LGBTQ+ representations like that in fantasy because I guess in a sense it makes the world more believable for me?

Catherine’s soldier Ambrose was fairly interesting but sometimes I found myself a little bored with his character, he was fairly one-dimensional with a sole interest in protecting Catherine though that did make him a believable love interest simultaneously. Oh yeah and then the last character was the traitor, March. I just didn’t like him. He seemed very easily manipulated and I think because I liked Edyon so much I hated him more because I thought he could do better for a love interest?

The ending “revelation” discovered by Catherine was a little frustrating because it’s something that the reader sees several times throughout the book, personally I found myself just getting annoyed that it hadn’t been realised sooner, especially as the nature of it seems like something many would have come across before it’s reveal? My favourite scenes were most definitely Catherine’s travels around Pitoria, which were made better by her purposefully going against her brothers wishes (you’ll hate him, just trust me) because he’s vile.

I don’t know if I’ll be in a rush to read the rest of the series, but it’s something I possibly would pick up at some point further down the line.

I picked up a copy of the paperback at the last Northern YA Literary Festival and got it signed, honestly I really just couldn’t resist the sprayed edges…

Have you read this yet?
What did you think?

Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @LuchiaHoughton!


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