Series: The Smoke Thieves #3
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on August 25, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
Format: Audio ARC
Source: the Publisher
Buy on Amazon
The heart-pounding conclusion to the daring Smoke Thieves trilogy.
In this conclusion to the epic Smoke Thieves trilogy, the world has erupted into all-out war. King Aloysius is mining powerful demon smoke and using it to fuel an unstoppable army of children. March, now banished for treason, has joined up with this boy army. Forbidden from ever seeing Edyon again, and overwhelmed by his own betrayal, March no longer cares if he lives or dies.
Catherine--now queen of Pitoria--must find a way to defeat the boy army, while also grappling with her own troubles: her secret demon smoke addiction, and unresolved tension with her former lover, Ambrose. Catherine seeks military support from Calidor by reaching out to her illegitimate cousin Edyon, who has been proclaimed heir to the Calidorian throne. But Edyon has almost no power as he's entangled in the unfamiliar machinations and manipulations of the royal court, finding that being the claimed son of a prince may be no easier than being a bastard.
With Catherine, his love, now married off and moving on, and his brother and sister tortured and executed before him, Ambrose doesn't know what his role in this world is any more. He leads an expedition into the demon world, hoping to destroy the boy army's stores of demon smoke. In this underground world, he runs into Tash, whom everyone had believed dead. She has survived in this new world using magical abilities that, prior to now, only demons had.
Aloysius will send his demon smoke-powered boy army to kill them all, if he can. But what nobody knows is that there is more to the smoke than meets the eye...
SPOILER FREE FOR THE SERIES:
This is a very good underrated series, and the end of the series does an excellent job of wrapping things up. The large cast of characters at first confused me, because I have a hard time remembering names and places once we get past for main characters, but Green does an excellent job keeping things straight, so I was able to follow along and get to a place where I knew who everyone was and keep connections straight. Going into this third book I was really concerned that I would have forgotten who was whom and where they left off, but like I said, Green does an excellent job helping the reader out.
The only magic in the world is the demons and their smoke, and everyone at this point has realized that smoke can make or break them. It has unique properties and I really enjoyed the rules it had to follow, and those rules caused lots of problems for our heroes and villains alike.
Normally with the last book in a trilogy, I am let wanting more about what happens during the “after” but again Green does an excellent job giving you enough information to be satisfied. There are some romances that blossom throughout the trilogy, and some love triangles as well, but they never feel forced. There is one relationship that I thought could have used some more … resolution due to the betrayal that split them up for a time, but all things considered the friendships and loves in this story felt more real to me than in most books. The choices felt true to the characters too.
Overall just an excellent story. You should really give this series a shot, and let me know what you think!
Audio-specific comments: Honestly, the multiple narrators really made this story shine. They gave each character their own personality, and did an excellent job keeping accents consistent when characters interacted, and one narrator had to speak for a different character. It really helped me keep things together.