Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
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?
Today, I’m proud to be one of the featured blogs that get to be apart of the Tell the Wind and Fire blog tour, promoting Sarah Rees Brennan’s latest release! As a part of the blog tour, today I’ll be featuring my review on Tell the Wind and Fire, and will also be featuring a Q/A with the author herself!
I would also like to thank Raincoast Books for organizing this amazing tour, as well as Sarah Rees Brennan for participating in the Q/A!
I always expect some level of predictability when it comes to retellings, but there were times when I was reading and I’d forget that this story was based on another. I’m glad I hadn’t read A Tale of Two Cities prior to picking this up because I would have inevitably spent too much time comparing the two stories and not enough time just enjoying this beautiful book for what it was. SRB did a wonderful job on creating the characters, remade Charles Dickens’s into something even more in-depth and splendid.
The character development is a masterpiece that was carefully crafted and endorsed with magnificent writing. Everyone has a secret, from the mystery Lucie to golden boy Ethan. Their transitions, their desires, their pains… All were portrayed in such a vivid and incredible way.
I love the divide between the light and dark, and how morality is super grey or unconventional – light guys aren’t good, dark guys aren’t bad. The rebellion plot was something I was even genuinely interested in and I just thoroughly enjoyed the story. I’m going to pretend it ended differently though. My only complaint is there’s a whole chapter of info dumping at the beginning and it interrupted my reading experience.
Tell the Wind and Fire is told in set-pieces, some of them described with cinematic detail. Here Brennan was at her best—her evocations of light—especially of a city at night, illuminated by magical light-giving rings—were stunning. The representation of power and how we relate to it – depending on which side we stand – is presented so greatly in Tell the wind and fire, that it made me reflect on so many things that are happening the world, the real world.
I still fairly tortured after reading it, and my heart broke and tears were shed at the ending, because it was a trainwreck you could see coming but couldn’t do anything to stop it.
Q&A with Sarah Rees Brennan
Both cities have their positives and their negatives. Which side of the city would you
choose to live in and why?
It was fun to split New York city up in a way because some of its residents already feel that it is split. I have friends who live in Manhattan who are like ‘I am NEVER going out to Brooklyn, can you imagine.’ I actually prefer to stay in Brooklyn when I stay in the city, because—there’s a little more space so you don’t feel like you’re going to be murdered in a restaurant, and also a lot more puppies.
Of course, in Dark New York, there are fewer puppies and the chances of being murdered in a restaurant are unfortunately high. In the end I think I’d make the choice my heroine Lucie makes, which is to stay in the place where I had the most loved ones, and in which my loved ones were safest. In either case, the real problem is that you’re living under an oppressive regime and your loved ones are not safe anywhere… Living in a book is the worst. Never check out the real estate in Fictional World, you’ll only end up getting chased around New York by people with magic swords.
-Read On Darlings!