Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date - April 5, 2016
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 of the deadly connection the young men share, 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?

Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan tells a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.
I am not overly familiar with A Tale Of Two Cities. I read it in highschool and recall that I enjoyed it. I was intrigued when I heard that Sarah Rees Brennan was writing a novel inspired by the classic but mixed with magic. While I cannot speak to the influence A Tale Of Two Cities had on this novel, or the emotion impact on someone who adores the source material, I found this to be a well written read filled with fascinating characters.

The writing within these pages invokes a feeling of classic literature. There is something timeless about it. The story feels like a mix of historical and futuristic and that is a result of the writing. Its prose easily whisks you into the story, and the emotional journey that this group of characters takes. It's the writing and crafting of the characters that makes this story such an engrossing read.

One of the more appealing elements of this story are the characters and how they are created. They are complicated, complex characters whose backgrounds and actions have turned them into who they are. These choices and backgrounds have molded them and that creates some very life-like characters. There are no heroes, or villains. There are varying degrees of each in all the characters, and every single decision they make is one you can understand because you understand the characters. I comment a lot on characters who walk the moral grey area. These characters don't quite fit that description because they just feel authentic and real. They are the product of what has happened to them and that is true for every person.

The magic in this novel feels both familiar and new all at once. There is something comforting and easy about the world Sarah Rees Brennan has created, and yet there is a touch of wonder as well. Everything in this novel is tinged in sadness and a sense of inescapable tragedy. That manifests itself into the magic within this world as well. There is light, but with the light comes shadows and that is built into the very foundation of the story.

The story deals with segregation, fear, and prejudices. Light versus dark. There is no right or wrong side. The story within these pages adeptly shows that each side harbours their own problematic viewpoints and that each side is not without sin. Neither side is better than the other. In fact, opposing sides in cases like this are usually not that different. The situation may not look that different regardless of who is in power, and that just highlights one of the major themes in the book.

This novel examines what it means to be human. It looks a the potential in all of us to do both selfless and selfish acts. People are capable of acts of goodness but are, in the right situations, also capable of great cruelty and evil. A story of segregation and the murky greyness that exists in us all. It's a story that asks what it means to be human and humane. It's a must read if you enjoy the classics and magic.

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