There are so many characters in the book, and they are all so integral to the story in their own way, so rather than give you an overview of the story line, I wanted to think about the characters independently: (note this list is not comprehensive and in no particular order)
March, His family were killed by the prince he now serves, His parents by their hand and his brother by but he has a hidden loyalty to Holywell and leaves the Prince to join Holywell
Holywell, claims he is of Abask descent, just like March and has take the boy under his wing now he has left the servitude of the Prince. Together they are hunting Regan.
Lord Regan, supported Thelonius in the fight on the Abask. He is a close friend of the prince. He visits the fair to meet someone, could it be Edyon?
Edyon, visits a fortune teller with the bones of an animal as requested, to hear his future has a dark and Ominous Twist. His mother works as a merchant at the fair. He’s also left with the words “thievery is not always the wrong one”
Thelonius, prince served by March, lost his wife and child recently and the grief is hard on him
Ambrose, Guard to the Princess Catherine, who he cares for more than he should, his sister, Ann has been beheaded by the king for reasons he doesn’t believe, and he’s running for his life.
Noyes, tactical… hunting Ambrose because of his affection for Catherine, but under the guise that he killed Boris’s men
Boris, Planning Princess Catherine Wedding to Prince, forced Ambrose to fight his men for his honour.
Oswald, Accused of having an affair with Ann, his oldest and dearest friend
Catherine, Princess in Brigant. Departing for Pitoria to marry a prince she has been promised to, but never met. His name is Tzsain. She clearly has feeling for Ambrose, and it is obvious early on that she seeks to more, and will become a likely heroine in the story.
King Aloysius 2 of Brigant, ruler who appears tyrannical and father to Catherine, Boris and Noyes
Queen Isabel, wife to the Kind, Mother to Catherine, Boris and Noyes. Not allowed to leave the castle.
Tash, sold to Gravell, Fast runner, Deamon hunter, and like all good girls is obsessed with getting a new pair of boots.
Gravell, Demon hunter, smoke seller, brought Tash to help him with these tasks, but hes obviously fond of her. They ve found a purple smoke they want to sell. But there’s something about it that’s different to the others…
This is a story of Power, greed, and courage. Loyalty and family, the one we are born with and the allegiances we make to form a new one.
The narrative I liked best was Catherine’s, it felt the most personal, detailed and important to the story. Whist all of the others would likely change the story and are no doubt needed I found myself less interested in their activities and expeditions than the Princesses which is something I found interesting as I read the book, because its called the Smoke Thieves, so I felt I should be concentrating on Tash’s story, or Gravells. The ‘hints’ to the bigger story suggested to me that my preference maybe not as misguided as I originally thought the further I got into the book, but as to whether I made the right narrative allegiance – you’ll have to read the book to find out. Its available from 2 May.
The ARC I received from NetGalley and Penquin Random house came with a note from Sally Green, which I cant help but share.
It’s been an amazing few years since my debut trilogy, Half Bad, was published. I’d like to thank you, the readers, for your support and enthusiasm. I wouldn’t be here without you.
The Smoke Thieves is the first book in my new fantasy series, which is out in May 2018. I’m incredibly excited about this new story and world. It’s a journey, in more ways than one, for five protagonists from different countries—Tash, a young demon hunter; Edyon, a compulsive and impulsive young student; March, a radicalized young servant from a country destroyed by war; Ambrose, the handsome, idealistic soldier whose values are at odds with his government; and Catherine, a princess with an imminent arranged marriage—all of whom are driven by fate, ambition, and desperation, as their paths come together over an illegal bottle of demon smoke.
The Smoke Thieves began with a number of character ideas, but it was Catherine that pulled the story together. There’s a lot of talk about strong female characters in YA fiction, and I wanted to write a character that used her brains, initiative and, anything else at her disposal to take power.
Unfortunately, intelligent and ambitious females usually end up being the baddies. There is still an implication that brains and hard work are somehow unattractive and women should be kind and thoughtful (as if these traits are mutually exclusive). I’m frustrated that we (women) have made so little progress in the world of business and politics since my teenage years, in the seventies. I hope that by creating lead characters like Catherine, I can help influence girls and young women in how they perceive they can control their own destiny.