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Ship of Smoke and Steel (The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy)

Review

Ship of Smoke and Steel (The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy)

In the fantastic book SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL by Django Wexler, there are nine wells of magic that can be accessed by few and far between. There are those who can use some of the energy, more of the energy and the rare adepts who can use the entirety of the well’s magic.

Isoka, the main character, is one of these adepts. The only family she has is her little sister, Tori, and Isoka cannot trust even her with her secrets. Isoka is an infamous crime enforcer of the docks. When the government finds out about her abilities, she is threatened with Tori’s safety and is given one year to board and take control of a ghost ship. If Isoka is unable to complete her task given by the ruthless government, Tori will enter a life of enforced sex and labor.

" I enjoyed this book quite a bit....I liked the writing style in SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL and felt that Wexler conveyed feelings very well."

When she first arrives on the ship, it is far different than she could have ever imagined. There are these giant “crabs” everywhere that the people hunt for food, which is surprisingly delicious, and people are put into “packs.” With her streak of stubbornness on display, she ends up in the worst pact, the one everyone knows will die the next time they form a hunting party. Throughout her journey, she explores the basic concept of the new world around her and the society that she has left behind. Isoka desperately tries to rise quickly in the ranks on the ship for fear of not completing her task and dooming her sister to a life of pain and misery, all while being closely watched and manipulated by the Council that rules over everything on the ship.

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I liked the basic concept of wells of sorcery that some are able to access and for the most part, I was not overly frustrated at the character’s decisions. I did think that Isoka was rather weak mentally considering that she should have been hardened through her years as a homeless person and then a crime warden. Her composure was lost very easily and I believe that one would have more safeguards than she did as she had practically none that ensured her sister’s safety in the case of Isoka disappearing or been captured.

I liked the writing style in SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL and felt that Wexler conveyed feelings very well. I will say that I was disappointed with the love interest because I felt a strong pull towards Isoka being with a certain person, but ultimately she did not end up with them, despite seemingly obvious connections between them. The previously mentioned character also had lots of potential to add more to the story and I hope that he is very involved in the next books. They are quite powerful and loved by those on the ship so it would not be unreasonable to incorporate them leading the group into a different life than they have been living for years and being close with Isoka as she continues her struggle to protect her family.

Reviewed by Lauren F., Teen Board Member on January 23, 2019

Ship of Smoke and Steel (The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy)
by Django Wexler