Second in the 'smoke thieves' series of fantasy novels.
First was 'The Smoke Thieves.' This picks up from where that left off, and it's not got anything exposition wise to bring you up to speed, so new readers should start with that.
Regular ones read on.
This one runs for four hundred and one pages. It's divided into lots of short and unnumbered chapters. Though each does tell you who the viewpoint character in it is, and where in the land of the story they are when it takes place.
There's a map of the setting at the front, and a glossary of characters and places at the back.
It is most definitely not the end of the story, as things are still up in the air by the end.
There is some strong language, violence, and a few adult moments, so it's not for younger readers.
Catherine and the other survivors head onwards. But a journey through strange territory leave her and Tash going different ways. The latter deeper into unknown territory. The former into politics and romance, and having to make some very tricky choices.
As do Edyson and March. They face troubles as they fight to survive. But one simple thing might be the greatest threat to them both...
This is just so so good. It's just as well written as the first book. I got thoroughly involved with all the characters. It really makes them work towards any chance of a happy ending, which does feel realistic. There's an incredible amount of jeopardy at times. And everything is so completely and utterly character rather than plot driven.
The whole bigger picture progresses naturally, just going up to the next level rather than setting itself up for a finale. It's just a complete and utter page turner.
It does manage to avoid a couple of pitfalls, just about getting away with a villain who could easily twirl a moustache if they had one, and just about dodges a deus ex machina with it's resolution to one key dilemma. But those are minor complaints.
Great writing. Great read. Great series. Can't wait to get book three.
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