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Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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. . . 

Goodreads Summary

This is not your typical Romeo and Juliet tragic love story. A lot of the plot doesn't even necessarily focus on Juliet or Romeo. Juliet is the overall weapon. Romeo believes himself to be in love with her. Rosaline is sacrificial. Paris is Juliet's strong and caring protector. 

Romeo's character bugged me. He seemed weak and pathetic. I didn't fully understand why he was even included if he didn't add much to the plotline. I liked Runajo. She was cunning, smart, and willing to do nearly anything to save her little city. She was the epitome of a strong, female character; however, sometimes she took her role as savior a little too far. Paris tried to help Juliet, but more often than not Juliet ended up saving him. I think if the book was a little more focused on one character or another I would have had an easier time connecting with each character and truly caring about them. 

I liked the plot as a whole, but in fragments it was disjointed and confusing. I had to reread certain chapters just to ensure I had a grasp on what was going on. The ending wasn't entirely surprising and I will be looking forward to the next book, if anything so I can answer the questions I have.

 3 1/2 Stars

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