Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Published by: Penguin Random House Children’s
Released: 3rd May 2018
Page Count: 513
Edition: Kindle
Genre: YA Fantasy
Thank you to Penguin Random House Children’s for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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?


If you have been following Amy’s Bookish Life for a while you’ll know that I have a big thing for YA Fantasy at the moment. I literally can’t get enough of it! So, when I heard about The Smoke Thieves I was, as you can guess, instantly fascinated. Sally Green was an author I’d heard of but not read so excitement was building for me to read The Smoke Thieves.
A princess, a hunter, a traitor and a thief. Four teenagers, all from different walks of life, all with the fate of the world in their hands. In Brigant, Princess Catherine is preparing for a loveless marriage arranged by her brutal father. In Calidor, servant March seeks revenge on the prince who mislead his people. In Pritoria, Edyon steals for cheap thrills. And in the Northern Territories, 13 year old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for demon hunter Gravell. As alliances shatter, these four teens find their past lives transformed and their futures linked by magic and war. Who will rise? and who will claim the ultimate prize ? 

Wow! Is what I can first say about this book. It had everything I look for in a YA Fantasy and more. It had exciting kingdoms, magic, war, intriguing characters and a plot that kept me hooked from the get go. I couldn’t put this book down and thought about it throughout my days. Everything about it was fabulous and I fell in love instantly with it. 

As with most YA Fantasy there was an element of magic, but in The Smoke Thieves this is a  totally different kind of magic. I am in fact talking about demons. The humanoid creatures who are the source of Demon Smoke – a powerful drug. I was really intrigued in the demons and wish I could have learnt more about them, but I am hoping this is touched upon in the next instalments of the series. Having this type of ‘magic’ made the story have a unique edge and I loved how it stepped away from your typical wizard/witch type magic that you read in a lot of books in the same genre.

Multiple POV’s isn’t something that I usually like but the case was different for The Smoke Thieves. I’ll admit, at first I was a bit confused about how all these characters would connect but as I read on I started to piece together little bits and I was really shocked when I got the full picture. The element of surprise was well planned I’d say. I also felt that I got immersed into each characters separate story and this helped me build bonds with them all.  

Speaking of characters, it was hard to pick with POV I loved most but if I had to choose I’d say Catherine’s. I just loved her determination and how she longed to have independence and be free for a woman. She’d spent most of her life having to do what a man told her and I admired her feminist spirit. Definitely a character for young girls to look up to. Granted, there was a romance in her story arc but it wasn’t the dominant trait about her. You can have YA without romance taking the forefront and this proved it. I also had a soft spot for March. His inner battle about his feelings was something we can all relate to and I loved his relationship with Edyon. I am really hoping it progresses further in the series. We need more LQBTQ+ relationships in YA so I am praying.

The Smoke Thieves was a thrilling, exciting read that had me gripped from the first page. It was an unique take on the YA Fantasy genre which certainly stood out. With a gripping plot, great character development and fantastic world building this is a series that I can’t wait to read more of.

Author Bio

British author Sally Green is creator of the Half Bad trilogy, a teen fantasy series with an adult edge that’s been described as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four with witches’.

Sally Green lives in north-west England. In 2010 she started writing and hasn’t stopped since.

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