ARC Review: The Smoke Thieves By Sally Green

Good morning, you guys! I hope you’ve all had a nice start to your day and that Monday hasn’t been treating you badly! Today actually marks the first day of me starting this program that is supposed to help me find, apply for and get a job so I might be even less active (if that’s even possible, at this point) when it comes to reading everyone’s posts. πŸ™Β But as my mom said, it has been too long since I stopped going to school and I really need to get a job so I can get some more experience in the field that I want to work in, so I’m hoping that this will bring me much, much closer to that goal!

So yeah, that’s what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future which is hopefully going to be fun. But more than anything, I hope I’ll still have enough time to dedicate to reading because what if I suddenly don’t have enough time anymore??? That would be horrible, let me tell you!

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But, let’s not ramble on for too much longer and instead get to the point already! A couple of months ago, I was asked if I wanted to read and review The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green and obviously, I agreed to it but then it took me forever to actually read the book – because I kept picking up other books instead. But I finally did it and I’m so happy about I did! Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

the smoke thievesA 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, reckless 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? (via goodreads)

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To make sure that I don’t repeat myself here (or, repeat what was said in the Goodreads summary), I’ll just quickly touch on one point in the plot that I felt wasn’t executed the way I had hoped it would be – the smoke thieving that the book title suggests.

Yes, we do follow two characters who are demon hunters (they kill demons in order to collect the smoke that is released upon their death) but I feel like in the overall scheme of the book, the demon hunting and smoke thieving fell pretty short compared to the other plot points. Plus, we don’t learn too much about demons and the smoke they release just yet – which I expected we would get at least some more information. Or more than we get, overall.

But other than that, I really enjoyed the plot of this book and where the author took the story. As this was the first book in a series, it did feel quite a bit like a set up for the following novels which is why I couldn’t give this book a full five star (or five coffee cups) rating. But that’s okay, honestly. I don’t really expect the first book in a series to knock me off my feet completely!

review image_ characters
In The Smoke Thieves, we follow five different perspectives throughout the entire novel even though the Goodreads description only mentions four of them – which is kind of weird. Especially since the cover also lists five characters? Oh well! Let me tell you a little bit about each of them. πŸ™‚

The very first person we’re introduced to is 13-year-old Tash who works as a demon hunter with her partner Gravell. Due to Tash’s size and quickness, she often acts as bait for demons and gets herself into quite the situations because of it. And while Tash may be the youngest of our five characters, she was still really fun to get to know and follow around on her journey across Pitoria.

Up next, we’re introduced to 16-year-old Princess Catherine of Brigant who is ordered to witness her bodyguard’s sister’s execution as a lesson as to what happens to those who cross the king. During the execution, Catherine gets a message in sign language that she can’t quite decipher yet but does her absolute best over the course of the book. But that’s not the only thing Catherine has to deal with, she is also about to travel to Pitoria to be married to Prince Tzsayn, a man she has never met before.

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At the same time that we meet Catherine, we’re also introduced to her 21-year-old bodyguard Ambrose who continues to find himself in unfortunateΒ situations that lead him to flee his home country in order to survive.

The last two characters we’re introduced to are 16-year-old March and 17-year-old Edyon whose paths cross when March sets off on his mission to reunite Prince Thelonius with his bastard son Edyon. But getting Edyon from his home in Dornan to Pitoria won’t be easy – for either of them.

I have to say, I had so much fun getting to know these characters and see them grow and develop over the course of the book and I am probably most excited to see where Catherine’s story goes in the second book because of the growth she underwent in this novel alone! She starts off as this young girl who is controlled by her father and brother and the closer she gets to her new home, the more independent she becomes. She has a brain and she uses it. She uses pretty dresses and fashion to her advantage when needed and makes the people fall in love her thanks to it.

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The other characters and more importantly character dynamic I’m really interested in seeing develop further is that of March and Edyon! Edyon early on voices his interest in March and tries to convince him to give whatever there is between them a chance to develop further which March isn’t quite ready to do for his very own reasons.

I think there might be a bit of a love triangle happening in the next book and that’s something I’m really not interested in. So I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that Sally Green doesn’t take the story there – it would also feel like an unnecessary and cheap way to create drama. *shrugs*

review image_ pacing

The Smoke Thieves features quite a bit of traveling throughout the novel but luckily it is done in a way that never feels boring or drawn out. The world building did take a bit of time and the story only really took off for me at around the 35% mark but once we got to that point it was full speed ahead and I loved it!

I actually read a good chunk of the second half while watching my nephew and I got so sucked into the story that I didn’t want to be interrupted by the little guy with random questions or requests that I play with him (which I obviously did, my nephews usually still win out against pretty much any book) that’s how good the story got for me!

And it’s exactly that feeling that I love whenever I read a new-to-me author or start a new series. I think it’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of world building and the info dumping that often happens – especially in the first book of a new series. But once the story actually takes off and you feel yourself enjoying it more and more – that makes getting through the world building worth it, in my opinion.

review image_ enjoyment

Before The Smoke Thieves, I had never read a book by Sally Green before – I had heard about her Half Bad trilogy and if I’m remembering correctly, it used to go around booktube quite a bit when it was first released, but it just never really caught my attention for whatever reason.

But, when I was contacted about possibly receiving this book, I was hooked pretty quickly because it sounded like it would be right up my alley, so I agreed to receive the book.

And I have to say, Sally Green didn’t disappoint! Her writing was really easy to follow and I would often get through chunks of the books without even noticing it which is the best thing that could happen to me!

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It did take me a while to finally get to this book but that was just my own laziness and down to the fact that I kept picking up other books instead and had nothing to do with the book itself.

I also decided to get the audiobook for this which made the reading experience even more fun because each point of view had a different narrator which helped to keep the events separate in my mind – especially once characters start to cross paths more and more!

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2222I Would Drink A Lot Of Coffee To Finish This Book!

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Luckily for all of you guys who read this review and got curious and want to pick this book up themselves, YOU CAN! Because it’s already been released in the US and the UK so make sure you get your hands on this through your trusted bookseller!

Grab Your Coffee And Let's Talk!

And, I want to know! Have you guys read The Smoke Thieves yet or do you at least have it on your TBR already? Or was I maybe even able to get you curious and you’ll add this to your TBR after this? Are you? Are you? Hmmm? πŸ˜‰

For those of you who are familiar with Sally Green’s other works, how did this book compare and is it worth checking out her first series? I know my TBR is already pretty long and I probably shouldn’t add anything else to it – but we also know that reasonable thinking isn’t always a strong suit for us bookworms!

So, down in the comments! Tell me why I should or shouldn’t read Sally Green’s earlier works and tell me if this book has made it onto your TBR or not (and what I need to do to make you add it)!

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12 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Smoke Thieves By Sally Green

  1. Best of luck for this new program, Swetlana, I hope it will go well, I’m sending you all the positive vibes for it πŸ™‚
    Also, I absolutely love your graphics and how they stand out in your review, this is soooooooooo pretty, I had to say it. ❀
    I'm really glad to hear you overall enjoyed this book – I haven't read anything by the author just yet, but heard loads of great things about her Half Bad series. I'm not usually a fan of multiple POV though and I have to say that I'm a bit nervous about the five different POV here (weird they'd miss out on mentioning one in the goodreads synopsis, by the way…). I'll have to think about it πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing! ❀ ❀

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    1. Thank you, Marie! πŸ’› So far it’s literally been just sitting around doing nothing which has me super confused. 🀷 But we’ll see what else they’ll have us do in the next couple of weeks.

      Aww, thank you! I’m so happy to hear that! I knew I wanted something more in my reviews to draw the eye in more so hopefully those graphics help with that too. 😊

      Yeah, I saw that and was just like πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” I mean, the COVER lists five people how difficult can it be to quickly talk about them? πŸ˜‚ I LOVE multiple POVs so much! I think Leigh Bardugo really got me into them with Six Of Crows! But it might take a little bit to get used to them, not gonna lie. I also had to sometimes remember who was who and how they were related to what was happening, but I expected that with the first book in a series.

      You’re welcome. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s…. confusing indeed haha, I hope it will get a bit more interesting! πŸ™‚
        Oh that’s amazing – I feel like I’m not reading enough books with tons of POV to be used to them, so to really enjoy them haha but hopefully that will change πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This has been sitting on my shelf for a while (I got it in my Illumicate box) but part of the reason I haven’t picked it up is because I’ve heard literally nothing about it from anyone. So I’m super pleased that you enjoyed it. Maybe it will be the next book I pick up?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard too much about it either when I was contacted! If I hadn’t heard the author’s name before I probably would have passed, but I knew about her previous trilogy and people seemed to have enjoyed it back in the day, so I accepted. And I’ve learned over the last year to accept books or request books when I know the author has previous work that’s been loved by people. That’s how I got into Becky Albertalli and Kiersten White! And now they are both among my favourite authors. 😊


  3. Great review for this book Swetlana, and I’m glad you enjoyed this one as well. πŸ™‚ I definitely agree with what you said about Catherine’s development, it was incredible this book and it makes me interested to see where her character goes in the second one. Also yeah not a fan of the beginning of the love triangle that was hinted at in this book. It’s not something I’m a fan of in books either.
    I have read Sally Green’s Half-Bad series, and I really loved it. I actually think it’s even better than The Smoke Thieves so if it sounds like something you’d be interested in then I’d definitely recommend it.
    Again great review, and oh good luck with your new program as well. πŸ™‚ ❀

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    1. Thank you, Beth! πŸ’›

      I almost feel like we haven’t really gotten that much info on either version of the triangle except for small tidbits here and there. I don’t even have a preference when it comes to Ambrose or Tzsayn (and I feel like I just spelt his name wrong too… But I’m answering comments on my phone and can’t check…). The only relationship I’m like curious about is March and Edyon – especially with the secrets that March is keeping!

      Oh, that’s good to know! I’ll have to look further into the trilogy and see if it would be something I could enjoy!

      Thank you! πŸ’›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and oh I don’t really have a preference either but I feel like maybe in book two there’ll be a strong focus on the love triangle or something. Yes, that is one I can’t wait to see develop either, the secrets March is keeping are definitely going to come back and bite him soon.
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This actually sounds super interesting… But I read Half Bad and was bored out of my mind… So I’m sort of unsure about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just finished Half Bad and while it was hard to get into at first, it ended up being really good! I am intrigued about the whole demon hunting plot, so it’s sad to see it’s not highlighted as much. I don’t know how I feel about the 5 POVs, it feels a lot to keep track of….

    Liked by 1 person

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