Tuesday, March 22, 2016

5 Star ARC Book Review: Tell the Wind and Fire

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Edition: eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

I received a copy of Tell the Wind and Fire from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

Tell the Wind and Fire was one of my most anticipated releases this year for a couple of reasons.  One, I absolutely love the classic Tale of Two Cities and had never read a retelling of it before, and, two, because it's a standalone novel, something I don't read many of.

This novel follows Lucie Manette, a light magician who was born and raised in the dark city.  In order to get out of the dark city and save her father, she had to take drastic measures, carving herself into nothing less than an iconic figure.  Now, several years later, comfortably settled in the light city and in love with the heir to a fortune of money and power, the dark city has begun rising, and she's at the center of it.

I loved the characters in this book.  My favorite was easily Carwyn, Ethan's doppleganger, but I ended up loving Lucie for her unique personality and Ethan as well.  Lucie, to me, didn't read like other female protagonists.  She wasn't hot headed, like many of the ladies that take center stage, or cold and calculating (which seems to be the only other option, sometimes).  No, she was straight up practical and weighed everything carefully, and honestly, no matter how virtuous or despicable, and made a decision that made sense in the situation.  I rather enjoyed seeing her make only good (or at least, good for the situation in that it worked) decisions without being the smartest one in the room.  It made it easy to connect to her.  While Ethan doesn't get as fleshed out as I would have liked, he did end up growing on me, and the way he treats other people was wonderful to see.  I do wish other characters had the chance to shine, though, since I thought certain background characters had more personality than they were given.

My favorite part of the novel, though, were the social underpinnings.  Obviously, there was tension between those with power and those without, highlighting, perhaps, some of the things going on in our society, but above all there were clear and direct messages about how to treat women and humans in general.  Lucie, when interacting with Carwyn or Jim, and even Ethan, would make a point, either out loud or in her head, to announce how you should treat the person you love.  There are about a trillion beautiful quotes that have to do with this topic, so I recommend reading the novel for this reason alone.

The plot was very good, though somewhat predictable since I have read Tale of Two Cities and knew that this was a retelling.  I liked the original spin on the story that Brennan has taken, though, and there were several moments (particularly near the end) that surprised me.  Of course, I can't tell you what those are without spoiling you.

This book comes out rather soon, so I really recommend you go and pick it up as soon as you can.  It's a great novel with wonderful prose on top of all that.  And the cover.  Did I mention that?  It'll look great on your bookshelf!


  1. Great review! This sounds fantastic!

  2. I have seen this cover floating round my twitter for a few weeks now but I wasn't until a few days ago I read the synopsis. I haven't read the tale of two cities (#guilty)so I think it will be a completely different experience for me but there is so much love for this book I think I am going to have to add it to by to-buy list. The way that you describes the main character intrigues me and the fact that you have given it 5 stars even though it was predictable for you makes me think this book could be amazing.
    - Hills of Books

    1. I think you'll still end up enjoying it quite a bit. It was only predictable because I know Tale of Two Cities really well, and it follows that path, but the story is so good it doesn't matter. I hope you enjoy it!


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