If you have read A Tale of Two Cities then you pretty much know the plot of Tell the Wind and Fire. The title itself is a quote from the Dicken’s classic. Instead of it taking place in London and Paris during the French Revolution, it takes place in New York City that has been split in two. Manhattan is home to the elite, light magicians while Brooklyn (and I assume the other boroughs but it’s not made clear) is home to the lowly Dark magicians. Lucie Manette is a light magician who as born and bred in the dark city but after her mother has gone missing and her father is falsely imprisoned, she stages a stunt that goes viral and gets her father released and them passes to live in the light city. She falls in love with Ethan Stryker (our Charles Darney stand-in) the nephew of the powerful Mark Stryker and head of the light council. One day after a short getaway, Ethan is accused of treason because he has been positively identified as passing information to the Sans Merci, the rebels in the Dark City. He is about to be executed when Carwyn steps out. Carwyn doesn’t just look like Ethan in the way that Sydney Carton does to Charles Darney but he is exact copy of Ethan. He is an doppelganger. In this world, Light magicians can hire a dark magician to make a doppelganger when they are sick and it will save their lives. There are many laws against doing it and even more against doppelgangers themselves. For instance they have to where a hood. Well, Ethan can’t be executed now because what if it was Carwyn who committed the crime? This sets in motion the rest of the story. As I said before, if you know A Tale of Two Cities, you can guess what’s going to happen and more importantly how it’s going to end but that’s not the point. Sarah Rees Brennan creates a world that is both familiar and not. Many landmark will bring up memories but presenting a darker light. On a personal level, Green-Wood Cemetery, which takes the place of the Bastille, is only a few blocks from where I live. I’m not sure I’ll be able to look at the same way again. Lucie, on the surface seems like a timid girl, who wants nothing more then to everything she can to save the people she loves. That in itself takes a bit of bravery. As the story progressives and things start to take shape, she starts to stand up more for herself. Ethan is your typical hero character, the golden boy and Carwyn, the misunderstood bad boy but of course nothing is at seems. I think for fans of Dicken’s will like it and fans of Brennan will like it too.
A Tale of Two Cities but with magic.