This is a review of:
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
a Young Adult urban fantasy standalone
Expected publication: April 5th, 2016
Arc Source: NetGalley
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?
Thank you NetGalley and Clarion Books for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
“Tell the wind and fire where to stop, but don’t tell me.”
Tell the Wind and Fire is a retelling of Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. Set in New York with fantasy and conflict between Light and Dark Councils. Brennan used this fantasy to “illuminate the divisions and misunderstandings between people. Light Council, headed by the Stryker family, rules this New York. Within the Light cities, there are Dark cities, no Light citizen can go through. The Dark has a revolution, called sans-merci, going on against The Light Council to take over New York and take revenge from the Stryker family who murdered Dark citizens.
The heroine, Lucie Manette, lives with her father in Light territory. After her mom’s murder, her father has not been stable, and that’s why she is still taking care of him. She is titled The Golden Thread in the Dark by the Dark revolution. And there’s a reason for that title. The revolution sees her as a hostage of the Stryker family, and her dating Ethan Stryker is no help.
“The light saw me as someone the laws existed to protect. The Dark saw me as someone who proved that the laws could be broken. But I didn’t want to be either.”
Lucie’s mindset, this inability to act, remains present until the very end. I hated it at times, but the more I read I understand her hesitation. What if you wanted to keep both of these elements and stop them from fighting. She feels a sense of belonging to both of them and that’s why she doesn’t want to be part of the cruelty of it all.
The other characters..
Ethan Stryker | I did not much care for him. I think he has some of the righteousness Lucie had that’s why they find themselves in love. Apart from that, his presence wasn’t really felt unlike Carwyn.
Carwyn Stryker | he’s Ethan Stryker doppelganger and there’s a whole other backstory about how doppelgangers are born when dark magic was used to save the child. And they’re forever shunned away and never to be acknowledge. Which is, in my opinion, the definition of injustice. Since the first moment he appeared, you know an interesting character is introduced. I love bad boys, however, I found myself doubting this guy. I could not bring myself to like him fully in case he appeared to be a real bad guy. He’s that mysterious and confusing. But now I can say, he’s definitely more interestingly written character.
The end left me wanting more. It felt like an ending of a first book. I really do hope this becomes a series. It’s not an issue for me because I like to let my imagination take over with the story.
I really loved this world Brennan painted. I found it so intriguing, haunting and so full of potential. The history as well was no less interesting and haunting but it did need more elaboration especially with how Light and Dark worked aside from the main character’s struggles. I liked the little bits about Lucie’s mom and why her murder happened. I can’t judge whether this was a good retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, I have not read that classic but now I’m considering it.