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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. . . .
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
About the Author
Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She received a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. She is also the author of Cruel Beauty; Gilded Ashes, a Cruel Beauty novella; and Crimson Bound. Visit her online at www.RosamundHodge.net.
Lisa Larsen is a Los Angeles based voiceover actor who specializes in audiobook narration. She has narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres, including inspirational stories, thrillers, and young adult paranormals and also lent her voice to radio spots and a variety of training and marketing videos for companies like Mazda and Nexgrill.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“She slides her fingers into his dark hair and kisses him, kisses her dearest sin, again and again. Her heart pounds with the desire to kill him, to wreck and ruin and revenge, but she only clutches him closer, kisses him more fiercely, and his arms wrap around her as he kisses her back. She will not be the one who kills him. She will give everything else to her family, to her duty, to the adjuration written on her skin. But she will not give them this.” There has also been something moving to me about the tale of Romeo and Juliet. I get that it can be a controversial story, but I still always felt so drawn to the drama, the passion, the poetry of the story. Well Rosamund Hodge took this classic love and twisted it in a fantastic way. In this version Juliet is a roll to be played by a female who can serve as the warrior and savior of her clan. The story is filled with characters who all are learning that their world may be a lie. The book contains magic, mystery, necromancy, and revenants. And its all done in a fun and beautiful way. The book ended with a lot up in the air, but she sort of wrapped it up with a poetical seen so I can overlook it. Also knowing that I have the sequel on preorder helps. All that being said this book is really very well done and I give it 4.5 stars.
When I first heard of Rosamund Hodge, I didn’t realize I was jumping into YA fantasy…I just heard that she was a good writer. After I read the first novel, I purchased the next two that were available, and I burned through them in a fit of fiction-induced bliss. Seeing that Hodge has a new book out is akin to what I used to feel, years ago, when I saw that King or Koontz had novels in hardback. Her writing, though, is not horror, though it may be troubling and make you reconsider the world you live in. Hodge, so far, has focused on reimagining fairy tales and classic works. Her latest, Cold Smoke, Bright Fire, is enough Romeo and Juliet for me to almost want to pick up Shakespeare (but oh how I hate reading screenplays). Bright Smoke has plenty of differences and special added features from Shakespeare: in the world of Hodge’s making, the city Viyara, the “Ruining” is coming, the world may fail at any moment, and the dead are coming back to life. “The Juliet” is, in fact, a girl turned into a weapon through magic; Romeo believes her dead (as she believes him dead); and there are other characters who flesh things out in ways that would take me longer to explain than for you to read. It’s a world, in some ways, that feels a little too close to home, and that’s where Hodge’s brilliance shines through. In a story that is so very clearly fantasy, she has tucked truths that apply to us in a world that could well be falling apart (but then, they said that 2000 years ago). This is the first of a duology, so if you thought you’d be caught at the end wanting more-more-MORE, you would be correct. What’s interesting, though, is that this is the kind of YA fiction that I would share (and have shared) with the young people (and adults!) in my life. Hodge operates within an ethical and moral boundary that, while intense and perhaps more than a bit violent (hence it’s YA and not middle grade), is also realistic. Which feels strange to say about a fantasy novel. A challenge for me, I think, might be to read the original Shakespeare and tie the parallels in with Hodge’s writing. In fact, the inner teacher in me would love to see that done in a school setting…with all the tripe I’ve seen in reading lists in the last few years, here’s a novel to consider instead!
Absolutely excellent - extraordinarily creative and a unique combination of genres. I love the revenant/zombie spin on Shakespearean drama, all set in a different but well-built and deeply imagined world.
I read this as an egalley that I requested from Edelweiss because I love Shakespeare and am highly interested in retellings of his work, and I am glad I did. Romeo and Juliet and Zombies?? What could be more awesome than that? Well, Hodge has taken the story we all know and love to hate on, Romeo and Juliet, and created an original retelling of it in a world that is literally dying (living dead to be exact), and it turned out to be pretty excellent. It is both creative and refreshing, in that it doesn't follow the tale from start to finish, but rather begins in the middle of the story and is told through the point of view of Paris and Runajo (Rosalind), who were minor secondary characters in the original play. The setting itself and the circumstances leading to it are intriguing and creative, being filled with macabre magic and the living dead, but the best part of this book are the characters, who remain true to their Shakespearian counterparts as well as the people they became as a result of the world in which they live. In a nice change, Paris and Runajo serve as the protagonists in this version, giving the reader a new outlook on their personalities as well as a different perspective on the famous tragic heroes. These two are both determined in their goals, almost to a fault at times, although I personally found Paris more easy to understand and empathize with than Runajo, whose decision making processes were sometimes stunted and confusing. All of the characters are well-rounded and full of intrigue, with some who are not found in the Shakespeare version and who easily shine in their own light in this retelling. There was one in particular I highly enjoyed, but who had a character reveal/twist towards the end that felt both unnecessary and cliche to me. The plot itself is compelling but was a little difficult to get into at the start. Throughout, there were times when I felt it was a little hard to follow, with characters not being very clear on why they would come to certain conclusions. There were often many long-winded thought processes from the characters that felt redundant, or ones that stunted in sudden conclusions, leaving me confused about how the characters came by them (this in particular I found to be the case with Runajo, not as a often with Paris). I also found that Hodge uses negative sentences a lot to explain characters' natures (saying that they did NOT do something because of some reason, which basically translated to 'they are the opposite of this'), making it somewhat confusing at times in how it was worded. Overall, though, I thought this was a very interesting retelling, with a great overall plot and wonderful characters (Paris and Vai being my favorites). It was a little hard to follow at times, but I still enjoyed reading it and, thanks to the ending, am now highly anticipating the next book in the series.
It breaks my heart to rate it this low. Maybe 2.5 stars. I was sold at Rosamund's name on the cover, but then the synopsis mentioned Romeo + Juliet and I was in love. Sadly, my infatuation didn't last. The relationship between Juliet and Runajo was the intriguing. I didn't care for Paris at all and of course only wanted scene of Romeo and Juliet together. The various "before" scenes are what kept me reading. I struggled hard with this book. The world building is interesting and quite intricate, but none of it made sense. There wasn't any sort of explanation as to why things were happening, it just was. I loved the idea of it, but nothing clicked. The ending was captivating and I'm curious if there will be a sequel. If so, I'll probably read it in hopes that it explains more of what happened here. **Huge thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge Book One of the Bright Smoke, Cold Fire series Publisher: Balzer + Bray Publication Date: September 27, 2016 Rating: 3 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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 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 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 just 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. . . . What I Liked: I think I liked this book, but maybe there were just too many little things that I didn't love. I did think that it's an amazing and very creative retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but parts of the story were not to my liking. That being said, my somewhat low rating could be attributed to "it's not you it's me". You as a different reader might love this book! The Ruining has come over the world for a hundred years. There is no place left on the earth with living humans except the city of Viyara. Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou are part of two families at odds. Juliet is the sword of the Catresou family, and she is set to have a Guardian to help her. That Guardian would be Tybalt, her cousin. When Romeo kills Tybalt Catresou, Juliet is supposed to avenge her family and kill Romeo, but she can't - she and Romeo are hopelessly in love. Instead, they marry in secret and begin the process to make Romeo Juliet's Guardian. But this goes terribly wrong, and Romeo finds himself bound to Paris of the Catresou clan, and he thinks Juliet is dead. But Juliet is brought back from the dead by Runajo of the Mahyanai, who is a Sister of Thorn, sworn to protect Viyara. Runajo finds that having the sword of the Catresou family bound to her is not as advantageous as she expected. Both pairs - Paris and Romeo, Runajo and Juliet - will work together to uncover truths about the Ruining, necromancers, and the two families. And both pairs will find that death is closer than they think. I think the thing I really liked about this book was how incredibly unique it is, as a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Hodge captures that original story, and then twists it up. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
If there is a sequel I will consider changing my review. Otherwise, if she feels this is how to end a novel, she's lucky to be getting two stars. I've read her other books, and enjoyed them. This is the first one I've written a review for because of how disguised I was. The ending was lazy! There was no character resolution, and all the character stories were left incomplete for a pretty flashback end scene. I did enjoy this book up until I'd say the last 15 pages. Although I would not recommend it to anyone.