In this YA fantasy Sally Green is painting a world where treason, war, misfortune and magic will seal the fate of 5 young people and change their life forever.
In the Northern plateau of Pitoria, mountain and cold weather offer a land too hostile that only native and demons are living up there. Will this mystical place tie our heroes’ destinies together?
“it is illegal to buy, trade in, procure, obtain by any means, inhale, swallow, or use fashion the smoke from demons.
Laws of Pitoria, V; I, C. 43.I”
The very first sentence of the book makes a strong declaration about how serious things around demon smokes are. Yet, all the five main characters are going to break this rule at one point of the story, intentionally or not and by all means prohibited by the law.
The story follows the POV , a princess, a soldier, a traitor, a hunter and a thief.
While Princess Catherine is deciding what kind of Queen she wants to become for her new kingdom she still wonders what her father and brother are plotting.
On his way back to the West, March, a servant, is torn apart between getting revenge for Abask and how to respond towards Edyon’s kindness.
After a well-deserved pause from demons hunting, Tash is looking for pie, boots and rest. Nevertheless, her fortune takes a complete turn, thanks (or not) to a Prince’s illegitimate son.
In Dornan, Edyon is at a crossroad to his foretold future. However, a boy with the most beautiful eye he ever seen and a emotionless foreigner force him to make a choice that will bring death all around him.
Ambrose made an oath and he struggling to keep it while his surrounding is falling apart.
Once again Sally Green made me travel to a word where magic and real coexist. She wrote an addictive story whose I want to know more. All the 5 protagonists have their own identity and telling. I could definitely see the different POV and I was not lost (not like in Allegiant or Into the water). The atmosphere was defo fantastic ans whimsical!
The down side for me was that I wanted to know more about the demon smoke and hoping it will be in book 2. Regarding how the book ends I assume more action will take place in book 2. To me, book 1 just sat the scene and prepared us for more actions to happen in the sequel.
Here, I am going to tell you who is my fav character and the one I despite (yep, not just disliking).
My favourite character is Edyon. I felt he was true at heart, kind and touching. He reminded me a lot of Wylan from Six of Crows. I think they have a similar back story in a way. I felt so sorry for him for what was about to happen to him in case everything went according to Holywell’s plan. He does not deserve any of it. Besides, what happened to him is partially because he can’t help stealing things.
I also really liked Tash, she is fearless and strong. To me she appeared as a strong female character like I wish to see more in teen and YA books.
Disclaimer: sorry, not sorry! I have a real problem with Princess Catherine. Let me throw the shade ! I am sure she has the most beautiful dress to counteract it.
She tells more than show, at the beginning she proclaims that 1) she wants to be a respected ruler. To do so, she gets inspiration from Queen Valeria, a powerful sovereign who gained independence by listening her people’s concerns 2) she will do ANYTHING to find out what happened to Lady Ann. Yet, after 466 pages she ends up just where she started. I mean in her behaviour, to me she did not put any effort into finding about the clues left by lady Ann. She had way to much help for that! Yes, she did find a bit but with so much help that I don’t give her any credit. Every single chapter she would talk about the clue, like she just find out about them. To me, she should have spent less time blushing a handsome (yes she uses that word to many times to my taste that it lost it meaning) men.
She wanted to be respected by her people by dressing in gorgeous gown and flowers! WTF? Really, (rolling my eyes)? I am not saying a well-dressed woman, liking fashion is automatically a bad ruler or should not be respected as a queen. I am saying that it was too much described in the book and I did NOT care anymore about her f… dress at some point. Again, to my opinion if you want to win your people maybe you should listen to their concerns and struggle to help them solving it. Doing it in style or not is not for me to say. But just do something constructive and I don’t mean a garnement (this joke works in French not sure for English).
I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t rage about her attitude towards her betrothed and towards her “lover”.
I would defo recommend that book and I want to read book 2!