Thursday, March 31, 2016

ARC Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Tell the Wind and Fire 
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Pub. Date:  April 5, 2016
Publisher:  Clarion Books
Pages:  368
Format:  eARC / Print ARC
Source:  Publisher / NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Tell the Wind and Fire is a condensed retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, set in a futuristic New York separated by light and dark magic. I have to confess that I have never read the original work. Although I'm not averse to reading the classics, this one wasn't required reading for me in school, and I just haven't found time to add them into my schedule when I see so many shiny new books at every turn. 

That being said, New York is a city divided into Light and Dark. Those with light magic are the ruling class, and those in power work to supress magicians of the dark. The two classes have a symbiotic relationship... the dark need the light for power, and the light need the dark to live. But as you can imagine with any oppressed people, revolution is on the horizon.

Our heroine in the story is Lucie Manette, born to light magicians in the Dark City. Her parents were healers and helped those trapped in the dark at great peril to themselves. After Lucie's mother is killed and her father imprisoned in a cage, Lucie becomes a hero and symbol for the uprising. She is known as the Golden Thread in the Dark.

After Lucie is whisked away to the Light City, she falls in love with Ethan Stryker, son and nephew of two powerful council members. When charges of treason are leveled against Ethan, it is revealed that he has a doppelganger, a being created of dark magic, named Carwyn. Carwyn and Ethan become dual heroes of the story, and gave an interesting divergence to the tale.

Interestingly, both the Light and Dark see Lucie as a symbol for their own cause. She must learn to stop being that symbol and act of her own accord. When those she love are threatened, Lucie does just that and stands in defiance of both sects. While this wasn't a happy tale, it was interesting, sometimes heartbreaking, and I enjoyed reading it. I wish there would have been more world-building and explanation, but I had a decent emotional connection to the characters. I especially liked how my feelings grew and changed for Carwyn over the course of the book, and I think he may have been my favorite character by the end.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars / 1 flame.

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