Tell the Wind and Fire is a loose retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, and I have not read that book, so I'll not be doing a comparison. There are two halves of the city -- the Dark and the Light. Lucie, our main character, was born in the Dark, but has made her way to the Light and is the girlfriend of Ethan, a member of the Light's most powerful family. Lucie has Light magic; she has rings and can influence the environment by using them. She does run out of magic, and needs to be drained by someone with Dark magic to get her's back. That's why the Lights keep the Darks around--to drain off their magic. Or something. This part was a little vague to me. Lucie only uses her magic a couple of times, and I really forgot about it other than those times.
The people in the Dark are oppressed. They are poor and hungry. Another important character is Ethan's doppelganger, a person who was "born" when Ethan was a baby and he was about to die. Some magic allowed this twin to appear and it saved Ethan. This is highly illegal, and Ethan's family needs to keep this secret. The doppelganger, who has been living in the Dark, shows up. Lucie makes some bad decisions, and everyone's safety is at risk.
Eventually the Dark revolts, executing a well-organized scheme to take over the Light half. This is when the plot actually grabbed my attention. I didn't really connect with Lucie, given that she made huge mistakes and then kept it all a secret while risking Ethan and several other people's lives.
The world and magic is a bit murky. There is no background information to explain how this situation started. It is obvious that there is a big inequality, and the fight for freedom is compelling. So, I have mixed feelings about Tell the Wind and Fire.
Published by Clarion, April 5, 2016
eARC obtained from NetGalley
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