Tell the Wind and Fire

by Sarah Rees Brennan

2.67 of 5 stars 6 ratings • 6 reviews • 20 shelved
Book cover for Tell the Wind and Fire

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Tell the Wind and Fire

by Sarah Rees Brennan

2.67 of 5 stars 6 ratings • 6 reviews • 20 shelved
In this near-future retelling of the Dickens classic "A Tale of Two Cities," a deadly revolution breaks out in a New York City divided by light and dark magic.
  • ISBN10 054431817X
  • ISBN13 9780544318175
  • Publish Date 5 April 2016
  • Publish Status Out of Stock
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Clarion Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 368
  • Language English


Avatar for linda_un-conventional-bookworms

Linda 4 of 5 stars
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
Tell the Wind and Fire made me believe in Rees Brennan's brilliant story-telling once more! A dark world, in which segregation is paramount, but characters who are willing to bend the borders in order to obtain justice.

I loved how Lucie was so strong in many ways, mostly perceptive, too, but that she was still somehow at a loss when it came to some people. Tell the Wind and Fire starts out with a day at a beach, where Ethan and Lucie can sunbathe, spend time together and just be a young couple in love. The day doesn't end on the same kind of sweet note, though, as the couple misses their train, and have to take on that isn't only for people from the light city. I loved how Brennan had taken society and made it into something different, where magic was either light or dark, and where the light magic users were the ones with all the power - at least at first glance.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about Tell the Wind and Fire is that Lucie was a strong heroine, but that didn't mean she spent her time physically fighting, or running all over the world in order to save it. She had an inner strength that I could only admire, and I loved her loyalty, and how fiercely she was willing to protect those she felt worthy of that loyalty. There was her father, of course, whom she had saved from the Dark City, through means of showing herself in a very positive light, the loving, doting Light daughter, showing compassion and strength where others might have been aggressive and rather create an uproar. Little did she know that this image would largely shape how she was seen by everyone once she arrived in the Light city, started school, and tried to live a somewhat normal life.

There is an underlying mystery to most of what is happening in Tell the Wind and Fire, and I enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed the overall story and the main plot. There are many secrets being kept, especially within the light council, who thought they should be able to do whatever it took to keep their own positions - and the Light city - out of the control or the menace of the Dark city and those who lived there. Of course, once people who have been kept down for years can see a bright sliver of hope, there really isn't much that can stop them, and that's exactly what happened here. As the story unfolded, Lucie started to feel more like a chess piece than a human being, and she was pretty much spot on.

In the end, both she and other characters had some very hard choices to make, and I have to say not many of those choices seemed very good to me. Manipulation, secrets, lies and outright murder is not something either side was averse to, and Lucie had to live with her own share of mistakes and slip-ups, all the while trying her best to do the right thing - not for either Dark or Light - but for everyone.

Written in first person point of view from Lucie's perspective, and in past tense, I found it to be fascinating to only know what Lucie knew - or thought she knew - and what she did, as well as why she did things. The writing is really good, and Rees Brennan managed to snatch my attention and keep it throughout the whole story.

When the power of Light and Dark was discovered, the world was transformed. There was no going back: the shine and shadow of magic swallowed the old world up.

We all knew stories, of friends of friends, of relatives, who had suffered at the hands of the guards and their interpretation of the Light laws.

They called me the angel in the park, the angel of my father's house. They called me the Golden Thread in the Dark.

Avatar for shannonmiz

shannonmiz 2 of 5 stars
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
Le sigh. I wanted to love it, I wanted to soooo badly. But alas. It wasn't bad, but it was a bit underwhelming I suppose. Lucie and Ethan just did not excite me as characters, nor did I feel any real chemistry between them. Ethan was akin to watching paint dry, but at least he wasn't always around. Lucie just didn't strike me as a noteworthy heroine. She didn't really do much of anything, nor did she really inspire anyone or anything.

But the hardest part for me was the lack of world building. Okay, we're in New York, but some kind of weird New York, where there is Light and Dark, but I'll be damned if I know why or how. There was also a pretty sizeable info-dump which may have explained some of it, but I started skimming because I was bored. And I am not a skimmer by nature. And why did these people not like each other? I still don't understand. The Dark residents were clearly treated as "less than" by the Light Dwellers but I am still not sold on why. Then there was a revolution, because of course there was. Some of it felt like it didn't make sense, and the rest seemed clich├ęd. Lucie was "special" to the revolution (which, in itself was pretty underwhelming), and the "not-quite-a-love-triangle" was extra special. Actually now that I think about it, there were a lot more similarities and tropes than I initially realized- but they're spoilery, so I can't even talk about them. Let's just say this checks a lot of boxes on the "generic dystopian/fantasy" trope list.
I did like a few things about the book. Mostly Carwyn. More of him and his snark, please and thank you. I feel like his presence made Lucie's personality "pop" a bit, and I liked their interactions together. I also liked Lucie's concern for her family, and the lovely family that took Lucie and her dad in after Lucie's mom was killed.

Bottom Line: I was mostly confused and underwhelmed, but there were a few bright spots. Still, definitely not what I had hoped for.
*Copy provided by publisher for review

Avatar for tweetybugshouse

This is a magical story filled with glimpses of two very different parts of New York you got the light and the dark side. Their a eerie feel to the dark against the light that is portrayed very well through out the whole story. You also got this strange phenomenon of Doppelgangers which i first heard about on the TV show How i met your mother. In this story they are created by dark magic and usually are created to save someone you love but are usually very dark and there fore they are killed on sight. Their a whole set of rules around them about how they are to dress and be treated. This story was wonderful and totally worth your time to read

Avatar for biblioholicbeth

Beth C. 1 of 5 stars
Lucie - de facto leader of an apparent revolution based on a lie she created to save her father (and herself). Now living in the LIght, dating the son of one of the most powerful politicians, and always fearing her lie will be discovered. When her boyfriend is accused of treason, her house of cards will come tumbling down around her. The question is - how many people will it take with it?

I have read A Tale of Two Cities, though it has been many years. I do know that I (unlike many) actually enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this book. The characters are flat and provide absolutely no reason to like any of them. The magic system is sort of interesting - but also flat. Honestly, the entire thing just feels...flat. Unanimated. Just words on a page, instead of a story brought to life.

Honestly, this is one of the rare books that I got halfway through and just didn't want to read any more. Most I will continue, at least out of a desire to see what happens at the end. Sadly, I don't even have that desire here.

Avatar for nightingalereads

1.75 stars

A Tale of Two Cities is one of my most beloved classics. This book had so much potential, but wound up feeling very underdeveloped and juvenile - especially in regard to the writing and characterization. Sigh.