by Laura Sebastian
The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.
Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.
To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.
Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.
I enjoyed Lady Smoke more than the first book of this series. Theodosia is free of the Kaiser and is on the run. She is set to take on her title as the Queen of Asteria, but her people are still enslaved. She has no allies, no army, no means to fight for her people’s freedom. She is a queen with only hope, and good friends.
This book is about Theodosia finding out where she stands with her people. She works to gain power, and enough strength to fight for her people’s freedom. She must also convince her people who have been long enslaved to fight for their freedom. That there were will be a time they will be able to feel and hold that freedom. In many ways, Lady Smoke describes that coming-off-age stage perfectly and finding inspiration to fight for a worthy cause.