Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.
The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life… Goodreads.com
I’ve read this book is loosely based on Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, but I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never read that novel, so I can’t offer any comparisons. I’ve seen some mixed reviews on Tell the Wind and Fire, but I’m not sure if the more negative reviews are from die-hard Dickens fans or for personal reasons. Whatever the case, I may be in the minority that enjoyed it.
In the first 25% of this book, I was in awe of the world-building, but had to re-read paragraphs and backtrack a few times to understand this world and its rules. As I got further into the story, it looked as if a dreaded love triangle was looming on the horizon, something that disappointed me, but I stuck with it because as I got to know the doppelganger, I thoroughly enjoyed his voice and snark (for any Vampire Diaries fans, think Damon). To my relief, the love triangle never develops, but my favorite character in this book is Carwyn, the doppelganger. It’s difficult to say why without giving away spoilers, but I’ll just say he had the best character arc.
Yes – this is partly a love story, but it’s more of a cog in the bigger wheel of the rebellion taking place. Looking at the bigger picture, this is a story about the have and the have-nots and how we regrettably make assumptions about people based on speculation, geography, and circumstances of birth. And what you would do to save yourself and those you love.
After the first 25%, there is a lull, but the brisk pace resumes and there are some surprising twists. The decisions Lucie makes early on seem a little unbelievable given how much she cares about Ethan and I almost put the book down just based on that, but I’m glad I continued.
I also have to mention how thrilled I am that this is a stand alone book, with no sequel to impatiently wait for.
This book is scheduled for publication April 5, 2016. I received a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.