Saturday, 20 February 2016

Book Review: Tell the Wind and Fire

When I saw that there was an ARC for something by Sarah Rees Brennan possibly up for grabs - I had to request it. Honestly? I didn't even read the blurb. I liked the Daemon's Lexicon trilogy so so much
The Lady herself
(though didn't get on with the Lyndburn Legacy) that it was a must.


Tell the Wind and Fire is set in a New York that has been split into two cities: the light and the dark. The light have their own magic, and the dark's is much weaker, but the clinch is that when a light wizard uses a lot of magic, a dark magician is needed to drain their blood to stop them getting a sort of 'magic overload' as I think. This is the story of Lucie, born in the dark, child of the light, darling of the poster boy of the light who becomes, not entirely through her own choice in a historic battle between the two cities. There's witty humour, swords, pretty gems, secret hiding places, lies, plots and characters being unexpected. Ooh, and there's dopplegangers.

Now, I found out that this book is based on Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, which I've read, and I had no idea. So, either: I have completely forgotten how that story goes, or this is a very loose adaptation. I can see the doppleganger idea with people looking alike and (wait for it...) the fact there are two cities. Please someone else enlighten me. To be fair, I haven't AToTT since I was about eight, so maybe I have just forgotten.

It was an enjoyable read. It did not remotely hit the spot of Dameon's Lexicon, nor was it as (in my opinion) poor as the Lyndburn series. It was told as first person from Lucie, but in a lot of ways I feel we still didn't really know here that well by the end. And we certainly didn't know any other character, bar Carywen. Makes sense because she's with him so much, but other characters are mentioned in a way that made me feel I should have the exact idea of who she's talking about, which is a little unnerving. 

To be published in early April
Unfortunately, there was a lot of information (no 'show don't tell') when describing the world at the beginning. Now, I really don't know how fantasy/sci-fi writers get past this because readers do need to know a lot before any action begins. It works better in other novels: e.g. Daemon's Lexicon, as opposed to Cecelia Ahern's Flawed I recently read, where it was horribly stilted. This was somewhere in the middle - and I really wouldn't know how to get it right!

Towards the end, where Carywn has little speech out about him not being 'good' and how he is still 'selfish' and that Lucie 'treated him like a was a real person'... Didn't work for me. A little OoC and a lot too cheesy.

Basically- I enjoyed it! At the end, Brennan said it can be a stand alone from A Tale of Two Cities. But surely this isn't a stand-alone novel in itself. There must be sequels!

PS Does anyone know has Carwyn is supposed to pronounced?