Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by P M Freestone

Title: The Darkest Bloom

Author: P M Freestone

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 7th February 2019

ISBN: 9781407192154

Series: Shadowscent 1/?

Pages: 434

Edition: ARC

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Scholastic, this in no way affects my review.

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power.

When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.

To succeed, the pair must uncover secrets – cryptic, ancient tales as well as buried truths from their own pasts – in an adventure that will ignite your senses. 

Thank you Scholastic for sending me a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for a review! Again this in no way affects my review.

‘The power of poison, the secrets in scent, the journey to justice.’

First off, how gorgeous is this cover? My arc copy was absolutely gorgeous as well, it’s foiled and so shiny! I was really excited to give this a go, the premises of the book sounded really good and I couldn’t wait to dive into it but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

I found this review a little hard to write, I had to think on it for a whole day because one thing I didn’t want to do was write a review that made this look bad because it wasn’t, just a little hard to get going I think! So on with my thoughts…

It’s done from two points of view, Rakel who wants to become a master perfumer as she has a talent for scents and Ash who is a Shield for the Prince Nisai, the next Emperor. There’s intrigue in Ash’s chapters, he’s only the Prince’s Shield as he saved his life years ago when they were children but it’s not mentioned how or what happened until the very end third of the book. There were a couple of moments in the book that really annoyed me, I’ll only mention one, it happened on all one page, Ash was singing, and apparently it was so convincing, Rakel jumped to conclusions so incredibly fast that he was gay and in love with Prince Nisai and then she ran away when she thought he knew she knew???? I don’t know, it confused me a little bit. 😂 But then it was completely forgotten for the rest of the book and they seemed to be getting closer?

The first 100 pages I found extremely difficult to get into, there wasn’t much happening and I just got bored and was doing everything but reading this book, I thought that the concept of it was interesting and I absolutely loved the idea of this book but I thought it could have had a lot more potential. I also thought Rakel was a man until someone said she was a daughter.. But once I hit the 100 page mark I did managed to get into it a bit more still slowly but surely and then I just completely flew through the last 100-150 pages and I must admit that it ended REALLY well, it ended with a cliffhanger leaving you wanting more so I am definitely intrigued and I do want to read the next book.

I do think that if it wasn’t slow to get into I would have given it a 4 star instead but it was just below the mark sadly, nonetheless, I did very much enjoy the ending. I don’t know if this is a duology/trilogy or anything as I can’t see anything mentioned anywhere but either way, I’m looking forwards to book two and hopefully that will have a gorgeous cover like this one!

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