Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

eBook - 2016
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Sabriel meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning and atmospheric novel--the first in a duology--from the author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound.

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city's most powerful--and warring--families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on the Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan--and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding the Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong--killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city--but she's the only one who believes it's in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death--and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2016.
ISBN: 9780062369437
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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AL_SUMMER Feb 07, 2017

I love Rosamund Hodge's retellings, but I didn't connect with the characters in Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. This novel weaves the story of Romeo and Juliet into that of a land torn by revenants and reapers similar to Garth Nix's Sabriel. However, the story never really resolves. Death and fighting leads to only to more death. Although this fits with the story of Romeo and Juliet, it wasn't my cup of tea.

vpl_teens Nov 03, 2016

Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire creates an interesting universe, straying from its inspiration but remaining nonetheless compelling. Prior to the Juliet’s “death,” the pacing is somewhat slow as Paris and Runajo have little to act upon despite clear objectives, but the magic system was enough to keep me interested. I have mixed feelings about this story as something derived from Romeo and Juliet; though it shares plot points, its thematic content dwells on the balance between life and death rather than on the futility of hatred. The hate between the Mahyanai and Catresou is ideological and based on power struggles whereas the tragedy in Romeo and Juliet lies in the senselessness of it all; the parallels were superficial in this respect. The exception to this would be the characters and relationships, as Hodge manages to keep Romeo and the Juliet as virtual strangers while explaining why exactly they are in love. Seeing Rosaline as Runajo and Mercutio’s offhand “king of cats” taunt become a title was great; in a way, this book pushes back the boundaries of Verona to the unexploited backstories and characters (I loved Vai, who has no equivalent character in Romeo and Juliet that I could see). The ending worked, setting up clear stakes for a sequel, though seeing the relationship between Runajo and the Juliet set back to zero was immensely frustrating. Overall, perhaps my comparison to its inspiration is a disservice to this book because it is on its own merits that it made me care.

Reviewed by Julie B. for Teens Read it First,

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