SFINCS Finalist Score: Ruins of Smoke, by João F. Silva

26 Mar 2024

We are near the end of the first SFINCS (Speculative Fiction Novella Championship), and it's time to start doing a recap of the different finalists and announce our final scores.


It's time to take a look at Ruins of Smoke, by João F. Silva


You can get it on this link, or subscribing to João F. Silva's newsletter.

The Usharian Empire rules the Known World with an iron fist. Imperials protect their world from the tainted hand of the Deceiver, but he is back with an avatar capable of breaking the Empire and grounding humanity into ash.

JEHA is a sentinel of the Empire, willing to fight and die for kinship and duty.

AGOR is an imperial general. Disgruntled by the darkness he sees seeping into everything he loves, he makes his move.

MATALA is a young smokesmith who sees his courage tested as Ushar burns.A

LAMAKAR is the world’s most powerful man, but even strong blood ties can hold him down and tear him apart.

As the Deceiver threatens the Usharian Empire’s heart, fiends walk the streets of the capital. Men and monsters clash in a battle fit for gods. And the smoke follows them.  

<<In just 100 pages, the author makes you care for the characters, the world, the crumbling city, and feel each loss as they pile high. It’s well written, fast paced, and certainly an enticing sampler of what’s to come in the series itself.>> - C.J. Daley

<<I always appreciate a good villain POV, and I really liked the villain perspective here, as you know what, he made some very good points on the nature of the magic in this world.>> - Trudie Skies

<<Silva exhibits a great competence writing, taking advantage of the situation to create memorable scenes, and using several POVs to create a bigger picture of the battle.>> - Jamedi, JamReads

<<Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book is the decision to include Point of View characters from both sides of the battle. The book reads like a prequel to a longer story, designed to set the stage for a different tale and show off the world>> - Nils Ödlund

Gathering all the scores together, we can announce that the final score for Ruins of Smoke from Team Jamreads is: