Smoke and Summons by Charlie N. Holmberg
Sandis is a slave and a vessel for a powerful ancient spirit. Her master, Kazen, uses her power to terrify and hurt others in a dark and crime-ridden city. In order to survive, Sandis flees from her master, though he is eager to have his most prized possession returned to him and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Sandis is aided by a rogue named Rone who possesses a magical device that gives him immortality, but only for one minute once each day. It seems like a useful tool, but will it prove to be enough to aid Sandis in her fight for her survival and her freedom?
That seems to sum up Smoke and Summons well enough without giving away too much. Now, we hadn’t read anything by Miss Holmberg before, and we must admit that we regret that. The writing is superb throughout the book, the dialogue never feels too forced or cringe-inducing. Sandis could be more sympathetic but given her situation she is understandable and cogent.
Now is Smoke and Summons perfect? Not quite. The pacing is a little up and down and a few pages could have been cut out by a more ruthless editor. However, our only real gripe about the book is that it leaves much to be desired in terms of resolution. We look forward to reading more of Miss Holberg’s work in the future.
What can we say? Smoke and Summons is fun to read, gripping enough to be read in a single sitting, and everything we love to see in a fantasy. Do you want to read Smoke & Summons? You can find it here.