Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (3/5 stars)

This was a beautifully written and captivating book, but don't be foolled by the reviews that say this book crosses genres. This book is a romance. There are some fantasy elements, but this book is without a doubt a romance.

The books starts in one of the lost cities of the drakon where we meet an outcast half-breed named Clarissa and the marquess Christoff. The book then jumps 15 years later to deal with a young lady named Rue who is the Smoke Thief.

Much to my disappointment minimal time is spent on the Smoke Thief's antics. Almost immediately Christoff enters the picture and begins to woo Rue. Here starts your very typical romance type of plot. Rue is willful, Christoff loves her but is too overbearing and controlling, Rue struggles with her attraction to Christoff. I won't spoil the outcome but if you know the typical outcome of a romance then you already know this story.

Despite the above complaint it is a very well-written story. It is a beautiful love story. There is some action but I found the action scenes to be far and few; this may have been a blessing in disguise because action scenes do not seem to be the author's strong point. Abe is very adept at writing about lush surroundings and beatufiul descriptions. Her love scenes are magically written and well done. If you like Victorian style romances this is definitely the book for you.

Overall I liked the story and it was a quick read. I was pulled right through it from beginning to end. I guess I just felt a bit misled from what I have heard about this being a magical fantasy novel. There is a touch of that but it does not by any means dominate the love story. I'll repeat one more time, this is a romance...a beatifully written and lush romance.

I have the second book from this author which is called The Dream Thief. It looks like this second book deals with some of the side characters from the first. I am still looking forward to reading it but I don't know that I will read many of the books beyond this one.

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