Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Release Date: September 27th, 2016
Read: August 8th-10th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1
Format: ARC, 448 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/Two Thumbs Up Program

Description from GoodReads:

   When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

   The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

   Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

   Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.


   The world is bought in blood and pain.
   I've wanted to read a Rosamund Hodge book for a while now, I've wanted to since I first heard of Cruel Beauty and then again when Crimson Bound was announced. It wasn't until I saw Bright Smoke, Cold Fire on the Two Thumbs Up shelf at McNally Robinson that I was finally able to read one of her books.
   The first thing I noticed when starting the book was that for a Romeo and Juliet retelling, our protagonists weren't actually Romeo and Juliet, but rather Paris and Rosaline. I found it to be a new twist on a R&J retelling, although we did see a lot of the two characters Shakespeare protagonists. The book also took place after the main events in the original story, making the retelling something new entirely.
   A lot of things happened in Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, and I would say they all sort happened all at once, which confused me a bit. When I say all at once, I mean that with our two protagonists, each chapter rotated between the two, then we'd get the odd little chapter that was a flashback to Romeo and the Juliet before Bright Smoke, Cold Fire's story takes place. So if something big was happening with one of the protagonists, then you had to keep track of that, along with pay attention to what was occurring with the other character. Then there was the fact that I would enjoy one character's story over the other, so my brain was constantly going back to their prospective even when I was in the other characters mind.
   Besides that little problem, Hodge had a beautifully put together story. She had magic, sacrifice, monsters and ghosts at every corner, it was a very interesting experience to read, and it was definitely something I'd never experienced before. I hope in the sequel that we learn more about the Sunken Library, as well about the curse and monsters that plague Viyara.
   Bright Smoke, Cold Fire was a slower paced read, but none the less entertaining. I look forward to seeing how Hodge ends the series, and how everything turns out in the end. 


Favourite Quote:

I can bear any terror. I am that strong, and that ruthless.

The gods have died, and in their blood, we live as those already dead.

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Retelling, Romeo and Juliet, Monsters, Magic

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