This retelling of A Tale of Two Cities takes place in a world of magic and danger and a divided New York. There’s the glittering Light New York, home to marvels as the Light Magicians, but just a short ride away is the walled off Dark New York, where Dark magicians or their descendants are kept in ever increasing poverty looked down on by those in Light New York and inching toward rebellion with the increasing restrictions. It is a world of magic and wonders, dangers and Doppelgangers. Lucie grew up in the dark, but escaped with her father when she was still a child, and has become famous in doing so. But she and Ethan, son of the leading family in the Light, both have secrets that are about to come spilling out when Carwyn walks into their lives, saving Ethan’s. Carwyn, a reviled Doppelgänger, is Ethan’s duplicate.
Sarah Rees Brennan has taken the fires of the French Revolution and reset it in a magical and divided New York. And her teenaged Lucie, Ethan, and Carwyn each have difficult and important decisions to make as their secrets come to light.
Lucie has made mistakes and has regrets, but she is determined to fight for those she loves, whatever the cost. Ethan is determined to do what is right, to help the people of both New Yorks, whatever the cost. Carwyn, is determined not to trust anyone else or let them stand in the way of what he wants, but he may not have been accounting for what he’d get tangled up in when he risked his life to save Ethan. And none of them will be safe in the rising revolution.
The interactions between Lucie, Ethan, and Carwyn as their secrets are revealed, as they try to navigate the rising tensions between the two cities, and their varied families pulled me in. As did Carwyn who quickly became a favorite of mine. Lucie’s determination, Carwyn’s snark and preemptive cynicism, and Ethan’s idealism made the three characters dynamic and each of their decisions clearly drive the plot to the breathtaking finale.
*I was given an eARC of this book by the publisher through NetGalley, but all thoughts about the book are my own.