Charlie N. Holmberg – Smoke & Summons

Holmberg has been one of my favourite authors since I read The Paper Magician, and when this book was released a month early as part of the Amazon Prime First Reads programme, I was really excited!

I immediately fell in love with Sandis, the main character. She’s a young woman who was kidnapped at a young age and is now kept as a vessel for a fiery power called Ireth, at the bidding of her master. She only sees daylight when she’s needed to fight one of his battles, and although she isn’t supposed to remember what happens when she’s turned into the demon, she’s starting to remember things, and they terrify her.

After witnessing something horrific, she manages to escape from his clutches, and the book follows her as she tries to keep away from him. After she escapes, she steals a magical device called the amarinth from Rone, who is going through his own set of challenges right now too. It looks like she might have made another enemy, but the unlikely duo realise they may be able to help each other.

I loved the fact that although the book had an element of romance, it wasn’t the main focus. I also loved the fact that we unravel the extent of the magic gradually, as Sandis starts to realise how powerful she might be.

The book was filled with suspense and shocking twists that I just didn’t see coming and left me wanting to scream! I felt like perhaps the ‘evil’ side of the book could have been fleshed out more, and the two main characters did spent a lot of time running around the city rather than actual action, but I don’t think it detracted too much from the book.

I can’t wait for the second in the series to see what happens to Sandis and Rone next, and I really hope Ireth makes another appearance, even though I probably shouldn’t wish for a reappearance of a fiery demon from another world!

My rating: 4Average rating: 3.92
307 pages. Published in: 2019
Read in E-bookon 29th-31st January 2019

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