The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Penguin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780141375397
(Age: 12+) Recommended. A princess, a soldier, a hunter, a traitor, and a thief. Following the paths of Princess Catherine, Ambrose, March, Edyon, and Tash; these five people will soon come to find their futures are connected by a mysterious bottle of demon smoke. Who will unlock its secrets? These five young people are trying to survive as much as everyone else is but with their kingdoms at war, they are all facing their own demons. Unwanted marriages, revenge, crossroad decisions and literal demons, they will have to have all of these problems and more.
Sally Green has crafted a character-driven story with the themes of war, social classes, forbidden love, mystery and a dash of the fantasy. Her characters are fleshed out, and uniquely expressive and driven in their own ways, each so different from the other. With it being a lengthy story, the plot is somewhat slow but pulls the reader back in with its action, suspense and surprising plot twists. And with that, it kicked off a series of events that kept me clinging to the book wanting more. Green spares no detail in this encapturing story of kings and kingdoms, love and loss, and demon smoke. I would recommend this to young and young adult readers.