A review by _ckarys
A Vision in Smoke, by Allyson S. Barkley

4.0

After loving A Memory of Light last year, A VISION IN SMOKE was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, and I was not disappointed! Coming back to this world and spending more time with Ari, Ely and Jagger felt like coming home. The book had as much high-stakes action as it predecessor, but the pacing was overall slower (in a positive sense) and the story more emotional (sometimes I was on the verge of tears). We spend more quality time with the characters, unraveling their pasts and diving deeper into their inner thoughts and feelings. I especially enjoyed Ari’s arc and watching her slowly open up, especially to Ely. Not too much, as is her way, but it’s a start! Will their relationship turn romantic? I hope so! But even if it doesn’t, I love the slow-budding trust and honesty of this grumpy/sunshine dynamic. The addition of new characters was also welcome. In particular, I adored Odaan, who was such a comic relief and as big an Ely simp as I am!

My only pickle—and this comes down 100% to personal preference—were the lengthy sections in war camps and councils. They were incredibly well written, but didn’t always have enough action to consistently keep my interest piqued. However, if you like reading about warfare in detail, you won’t be disappointed!

Now the agonizing wait for the next book begins, especially after that painful cliffhanger! My excitement is off the charts, and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for the future. If you love YA fantasy like Throne of Glass (especially the first books with less romantic elements), don’t sleep on this series!

Thank you so much to the author for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own.