Friday, April 1, 2016

Book Review: Tell the Wind and Fire

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre: Young Adult | Magic | Retelling | Romance
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.
The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…(goodreads)

Sarah Rees Brennan has become synonymous with heartbreak. Although Tell the Wind and Fire cannot compare to the Lynburn Legacy, it will leave you heartbroken. As expected. 
Plot: I have never read Tale of Two Cities so I am unable to compare Tell the Wind and Fire to its source material. The plot; however, is fairly simple. New York has been divided into two cities, the city of Light and the city of Dark. You guessed it, the city of Light is full of splendor and privilege, while the residents of the Dark city are viewed as demons and the unsavory. Lucie is a child of both worlds. 

While this is a story we are all familiar with, Brennan proves that the devil is in the details. Lucie gives us flashbacks into her life living as one of the "buried," and how it all connects to present day happenings. This isn't a clear and cut story of Good vs Evil, which makes Tell the Wind and Fire more memorable. 

Characters: As someone who read and loved The Lynburn Legacy, I found the characters in Tell the Wind and Fire to be a bit...flat. This could be because The Lynburn Legacy is a trilogy while Tell the Wind and Fire is a stand-alone, but they are definitely missing the magic and heart. Lucie intrigued me at first, she seemed aware of her shortcomings and played a role to keep herself safe. As the story progressed, I found her character to be more stagnant. 

Along the same vein, our two leading men, Ethan and Carwyn, fall into their roles without much effort. Ethan is all light and niceness while Carwyn is bitter and betrayal.

World Building: I am not quite sure where to place this world. It's intricate, it's got all the details and hits all the right notes, but I don't understand where to put it on a timeline. Is this a dystopian setting? Is it an alternative historical setting? I do not know. The ladies are expected to wear dresses and attend balls, but the magic infused technology makes the time period very unclear. 

Short N Sweet: If you don't come into this novel expecting another Unspoken, Tell the Wind and Fire will take you by surprise. 


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