Review Blog

Mar 05 2019

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

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The Ash Princess series, book 2. Macmillan Children's Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781760559106.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Theodosia's escape from the Kaiser has succeeded and for the first time since she was six years old she is free from his clutches. But at what cost? With the help of her aunt, the notorious pirate Dragonsbane, she makes for Sta'Crivero where King Etristo has invited all of the eligible royal bachelors to try for her hand in marriage. But with Soren imprisoned and Blaise's berserker symptoms worsening, marriage is far from Theo's mind. In Sta'Crivero Theo's priorities turn to her people in the nearby refugee camp, however, the camp is nothing like Theo expected, the Sta'Crivero people believing that the refugees bring misfortune. King Etristo is one of Theo's strongest allies and she must do her best to pretend to be the dim little girl they all expect her to be - but how can she curb her enthusiasm now that she's free of her shadows? Can she find a way to avoid marriage yet save her people?
Similar in ways to Daenerys' story from George RR. Martin's A song of ice and fire, the second book in The Ash Princess series gives hope for Theo and her friends as they press forward in their quest to retake their Astrean home. Dealing with friendship and the ever complicated love triangle, Sebastian highlights the importance of trust, honesty, and, most of all, friendship. Filled with rich, complex characters, Lady Smoke is sure to keep you captivated.
Highly recommended for young people twelve and up, particularly those who enjoy fantasy.
Kayla Gaskell

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