Title: Tell The Wind And Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Published: April, 2016 by Clarion Books
Purchase: The Book Depository
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 of the deadly connection the young men share, 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?
Nobody seems to like this book. I don’t know why. Before I hit Goodreads to check the ratings, I was dashing madly through this one, relishing each lunch break when I could get back into it. Sarah Rees Brennan is one author that just gets characters right. Regardless of whatever the plot may be, she hooks you with the people. I think it’s why I loved the Demon’s Lexicon series so much even though each book took on a different POV. Here, the main cast is kept quite small—just Lucie, her boyfriend, Ethan, and his doppelganger, Carwyn. Told through a single perspective, Lucie really shines as the lead in this story. While she may have had magic rings on her fingers, she didn’t spend the book doing spells. It delves much deeper, getting political with topics such as class, racial discrimination and feminism.
It’s not a textbook though. There’s witty banter, romance and plenty of family dynamics on show here. For a little bit of a rundown, Lucie, having fled the Dark City a status of both the Dark’s revolution and the Light’s compassion, with her mentally-broken Dad, she now lives in the Light one, dating the son of a prominent Light Council member—the son who happens to have an illegally created double that nobody can know exists. The problem though, is that the clone, Carwyn, is back in the picture and not exactly trying to stay hidden. With Ethan’s father and uncle both on the Council, that knowledge getting out is not an option—cue the power plays.
Dragged every which way, Lucie feels like a puppet at times, everyone trying to take advantage of her and get what they need out of her. She allows it though, thinking of the safety of those she cares about, and the stability of the world around her. Warring internally, we get to see Lucie struggle with what she wants the world to be and what it is. She is quick to point out the flaws of the world, especially in the way people see her. I really loved the strength in her personality even if (or possibly because) she wasn’t your typical ‘punch first, ask questions later’ kind of YA heroine.
Ethan and Carwyn were at times, interchangeable, even though the characters were vastly different. One, a strong believer in the revolution, the other, a strong believer of sarcastic backtalk, each of the boys played second fiddle to Lucie at center stage. While I may have enjoyed Carwyn’s antics just a bit more over Ethan, I think both of them brought depth to their characters. No one really stayed the same throughout the book. The growth of character was what made this book great. I felt like I knew everyone and that realism is what connects me to a book. Sure, the plot got pretty heated, leaving me thinking it was awesome, but the characters were why I never wanted it to end.
All of those people turned off by the 1 and 2 star reviews. Give this book a chance. If you love great characters, you’ll be swept up by this.