Smoke and Stone by Michael R. Fletcher

Smoke and Stone (City of Sacrifice, #1)Smoke and Stone by Michael R. Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

After a cataclysmic war of the gods, the last of humanity huddles in Bastion, a colossal ringed city. Beyond the outermost wall lies endless desert haunted by the souls of all the world’s dead.

Trapped in a rigid caste system, Nuru, a young street sorcerer, lives in the outer ring. She dreams of escape and freedom. When something contacts her from beyond the wall, she risks everything and leaps at the opportunity. Mother Death, a banished god seeking to reclaim her place in Bastion’s patchwork pantheon, has found her way back into the city.

Akachi, born to the wealth and splendour of Bastion’s inner rings, is a priest of Cloud Serpent, Lord of the Hunt. A temple-trained sorcerer, he is tasked with bringing peace to the troublesome outer ring. Drawn into a dark and violent world of assassins, gangs, and street sorcerers, he battles the spreading influence of Mother Death in a desperate attempt to save Bastion.

The story is split between two points of view, Akachi the high-born priest of an abandoned temple and Nuru the street sorceress. Both of whom rely on heavy doses of narcotics to fuel their magic. At the beginning Akachi is only out to prove to his superiors that he can be a priest while Nuru is consumed with making a figurine from her dreams.

The world Fletcher has crafted her is very small, being only one city, but that allows for a lot more depth to the history and building of the culture that is very well done. Some of the little details like seeing the wear on the rock, or noticing that the ditches are similar to his sacrifice table shows great detail to the attention.

Overall this is a very enjoyable book for any fans of grimdark/dark fantasy. I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the story plays out.


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