Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog. The genre is historical fiction set in the world war two period. Read my review of book one to see why I recommend it.

Anne Blankman has delivered a fantastic sequel to a fantastic start to a series. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke begins about a year after Gretchen and Daniel escape to England in search of sanctuary from the Whitestones. We learn of harsh injuries inflicted on Daniel’s cousin back in Germany and how Daniel does not hesitate to get the first train back to Germany. He does this partly due to loyalty and love for his family but also due to his need to do something worthwhile. Something useful. Unfortunately though this also sends Gretchen spiraling back to Germany to face old faces she thought she’d never have to see again.

This final installment of Blankman’s duology focuses around Hitler’s enabling law. This was a law Hitler wished to pass after the Reichstag fire which meant he could pass any law he wished without the approval from the Reichstag or even President Hindenburg. Daniel and Gretchen want to make sure that this does not happen but unfortunately history can’t be rewritten. We readers know that this law is passed yet still root for our protagonists. We want them so desperately to put a halt to Hitler’s plans yet we know this is impossible. We know the ending of this story and the best we can hope for is Gretchen and Daniel to be okay. Yet still we dare to hope because they dared to hope.

The Germany presented in Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is even more terrifying than before and I was petrified of the Germany shown to me in Prisoner of Night and Fog. It is hard for me to comprehend that people, actual people had to live through this Germany. It is a scene that should only be reserved for a dystopian fiction novel because I cannot believe it. Anne Blankman does a great job of portraying Germany in such a way. Most other novels in which I have read set in this time period have taken place outside Germany and it was so interesting to see one set inside Germany in the early days before the war.

The ending I think was very realistic and well thought out by Anne Blankman. It shows how it just isn’t possible for two people to save everything and everyone despite how determined they may be. It does also show that these two people will never give up. I would really like a third book in this series or even a short story just to see what happened to the characters however I understand and like how Blankman left the book.

ThereforeĀ  I would once again really recommend that you read this duology especially if you are studying history as useful facts are delivered well in a story that will have you rooting for the protagonists.

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