Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Inside cover blurb:

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. . .


This book didn’t do a great job of holding my attention…but I did finish it, so that says something right? Super cool concept, a very unique twist on a classic. I liked the Juliet being a role to take on, rather than just one person.

Plus: Imaginative retelling. Impressive world building. Secondary characters get a chance in the driver’s seat for a change!

Minus: Not totally sold on the necromancy or the Path of Lights bit…Characters are a bit flat. Set up for a sequel, but I’ll probably pass.

If you liked this book, try:

Image result for masque of the red death novel

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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