Wednesday 16 May 2018


The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Sometimes a book comes along that is so unexpectedly brilliant that you cannot stop thinking about its awesomeness, and young adult fantasy novel The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green is most definitely one of them. I hadn't heard about it before picking it up, though Sally Green had been on my radar because everyone always raves about her Half-Bad trilogy (which I've yet to read, soz), but when I opened the pages and saw the beautiful map of the world it's set in, I was sold.

Set across multiple kingdoms in an imaginative fantasy world, The Smoke Thieves tells the stories of a series of seemingly disconnected characters. There are the titular smoke thieves, Gravell and young Tash, making a living for themselves hunting demons and stealing their smoke; Princess Catherine who is getting ready to marry a prince she's never met while quietly longing for one of her guards, Ambrose; and March who wants to revenge the dead of his people.

The novel is told through their viewpoints and more, each of their lives slowly intertwining until they become part of a much larger and complex story, the faith of the kingdoms resting in the hands of these people. And when their lives collide, that's when The Smoke Thieves goes from a gripping novel to a true epic roller coaster ride that I couldn't get enough of.

High level fantasy novels don't tend to be my first reading choice because to me personally the world-building with endless kingdoms and copious amounts of characters is generally too confusing and complicated, and the death and despair of the wars between them too overpowering to be able to enjoy the actual character-driven story hiding underneath.

However, The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green is far more accessible, starting with only a few character point of views to begin with, slowly adding more as the story requires it and different characters become more prominent. And this worked far better for me.

While my reading experience was slightly doubtful at first, starting with an execution described in such detail it made me squeamish, I'm really glad I powered through that because wow, what an incredibly gripping, multi-layered and exciting tale Sally Green has crafted in her world!

I already enjoyed this book as I came to know the various characters and their roles in the kingdoms that make up this world, but when Princess Catherine's storyline came more to the foreground, secret plots were unraveled, and all the different viewpoints started to come together in the same timeline, that's when this became an edge-of-the-seat kind of page-turner that kept me up until far too late into the night to finish it.

Sally Green's characterisation and pacing is really on point and with the utterly brilliant story, shocking twists and turns and fab characters, she's single-handedly convinced me to try more fantasy novels of this kind, because I'm hooked now!

The Smoke Thieves is published by Penguin and you can get your copy now from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.

🎵 Listening to: Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark


  1. So excited for this. I picked up the finished copy as it was SO pretty!

    1. Isn't it just?! You'll be in for a treat :)


Share Button