SFF

Smoke and Summons

47North: Amazon. (Numina, Bk. 1). Feb. 2019. 365p. ISBN 9781503905436. $24.95. FANTASY
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At 14, Sandis was picked up by grafters and taken to live below the city to work for Kazen, a ruthless criminal. She was also chosen as a vessel for the powerful numina Ireth. Brought to a business meeting, Sandis had only a moment to see the name of her brother, presumed dead, in a ledger before Ireth was charged with destroying all present. Now, four years later, Sandis is willing to risk it all to find her family, but the truth might be more than she can bear. A well-developed setting and social, economic, and political systems make it easy to picture how this bleak, unforgiving world shapes the emotional and mental viewpoint of its inhabitants, adding depth to the story. Characters are slowly revealed through their thoughts and actions, while deliberate contradictions in their choices and dark secrets build tension into the relationships.
VERDICT With scads of action, clear explanations of how supernatural elements function, and appealing characters with smart backstories, this first in a series will draw in fans of Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, or Brandon Sanderson.

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