Monday, October 14, 2019

Book Review: Shadow Scent by P. M. Freestone

Shadow Scent by P. M. Freestone book cover and review
Shadow Scent (edited: The actual title is Shadowscent) introduces us to a new fantasy world that has been compared to An Ember in the Ashes. I think that is a pretty good comparison.

Scents are everything in Aramtesh, and Rahil has a very good nose. Scents are status symbols and religious artifacts. Rahil will do anything to save her father who is suffering from a disease that is literally rotting him away. Her only chance is to leave her father and go to the capital to compete to become a perfumer.  With the skills and money she would earn as a perfumer, she could provide the best treatment for her father. She bargains with the devil, and even though she has the skills to win, she is tricked and ends up a slave to the head priestess. It turns out that this situation may not be as bad as it seems. The priestess knows more about Rahil than she realizes, and some revelations cause Rahil to question everything her father has told her.

Ash is the Shield to Prince Nisai and will protect him at all costs. But there is an unusual bond between these two based on deep secrets about Ash’s true identity. Nasai spends much of his time trying to figure out how to contain what is a secret part hidden inside of Ash, barely contained. Nasai chooses to undertake a long journey and visit one of their lands during a very special blooming of a mysterious dark flower that only happens once a generation.  Ash fears for the Prince's safety, and rightly so.

Chaos ensues, the head priestess is killed, the Prince is afflicted with a deadly and mysterious disease, and Ash and Rahil become unlikely conspirators. They are on the run with the army in hot pursuit, trying to find the antidote that will save the Prince’s life. The tasks seem impossible, but somehow these two always manage to figure out the very obscure hints they are working with. Romance eventually blossoms between Ash and Rahil, as they face insurmountable odds, but also get closer to solving the riddles and finding the cure.

Loaded with tension, drama, life-threatening situations, and romance, readers will easily become enraptured with Rahil and Ash. Some surprising and imaginative twists and turns add to the drama. Although Shadow Scent stretches the imagination at times, it is a fantasy after all. We are left with an open-ended and heart-wrenching conclusion, clamoring for a sequel. Recommend Shadow Scent to fantasy-loving teens.

Published by Scholastic, November 5, 2019
ARC obtained for review
368 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. This one sounds really good for fantasy fans!

  2. I don't read much fantasy, but this sounds like one I'd like. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review!


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