Bright Smoke Cold Fire, Rosamund Hodge


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. . .

So I officially DNFed this book this morning. I haven’t picked it up on over two weeks, and couldn’t actually remember half of what was going on, so I pulled the bookmark out and left it on my pile of abandoned to wither away (Until I give them to charity)

I’m seriously disappointed. Hodge was one of my ‘instant buy’ authors before – to this day, Cruel Beauty is one of my favourite fairytale retellings. And while I knew, picking this one up, that it was Romeo and Juliet rather than a fairytale, I assumed it would have the same sort of idea, the dark tones and interesting take on a well known story.

Well, it was an interesting take. But it also fell flat on it’s face and failed.

I feel like she tried to do too much. Like she was waving this book in the air and screaming ‘not like other books’ determined to be just that. But it was confusing and weird and just strange, rather than interesting and wonderful.

And it just… didn’t make sense.

Granted, I don’t know R&J as well as I really should, due to the fact it is my least favourite Shakespeare play, but I know enough of it to read retellings to know the basic storyline.

But this was less of a retelling and more of a ‘I’ve taken their names and done a love on two sides of a war‘ and… not much else.

So… the city they lived in is the last city standing against weird zombie creatures. There was a group of women who dealt with this magic wall that kept them all safe, but the wall was failing. Inside the city were a bunch of different people- Basically loads of different cultures/religions all together (I couldn’t actually work out what they were meant to be?) One group had ‘The Juliet’ who was raised to sense injustice on her people and punish the crims. Another group had Romeo and of course, he ends up as a crim (by killing Tybalt) but she refuses to kill him and makes him her guardian but everything goes wrong.

She ends up dead-but-not and linked with some girl in this Magic Place and  Romeo ends up linked with another guy and both are trying to find out whats going on in the city.

That is literally the bare bones without much of the confusion but my god was it confusing.

And not fleshed out at all. Like, the world building was dodgy at best, and I had trouble keeping up with the whys and hows and whats. Maybe it was because she had too many main characters- and too many side characters- that I kept mixing up, and the weird logic (lack of) in their magical system.

I just… I’m actually struggling to write a proper review on this because
1) I just didnt care. at all, about any of the characters, the plot, anything.
2) I didn’t understand what was going on in it.
3) I was bored. 

Basically, it is a huge huge disappointment from someone who previously had such a wonderful way of telling stories and it’s actually put me off reading her books again.



2 thoughts on “Bright Smoke Cold Fire, Rosamund Hodge

  1. I’m hoping to read the book soon. Aw, I’m sorry that you ended up not finishing Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. Maybe you just read Bright Smoke, Cold Fire at the wrong moment?


    • Immzie says:

      probably. It also might not have helped that I dont know R&J as much as I know the fairytales shes based her other books on – and that out of all the shakespeares, R&J is my least liked. I’d kinda hoped that her writing would have made it better though.

      Liked by 1 person

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