An Ember in the Ashes meets Indiana Jones in an electrifying, steal-your-breath away, supercharge-your-senses YA fantasy adventure. Across the Aramtesh Empire, scent is everything. Prayers only reach heaven on sacred incense, and perfumes are prized status symbols. 17-year-old Rakel has an uncanny ability with fragrances, but her skills aren't enough to buy her dying father more time. Ash bears the tattoos of an imperial bodyguard. When his prince, Nisai, insists on a diplomatic mission to an outer province, Ash is duty-bound to join the caravan. It's a nightmare protecting Nisai on the road. But it's even harder for Ash to conceal a secret that could see him exiled or executed. Rakel and Ash have nothing in common until smoke draws them to a field of the Empire's rarest flower. Nisai's been poisoned, flames devour the priceless blooms, and the pair have "suspect" clinging to them like a bad stench. Their futures depend on them working together to decipher clues, defy dangers and defeat their own demons in a race to source an antidote . . . before the imperial army hunts them down.
The Darkest Bloom (Shadowscent #1)Featured
Ash is the shield for Prince Nisai and will do anything to keep the prince save, even if it means risking his own life. Ash goes wherever Nisai goes and for the first time in years, they're leaving the castle. Ash is curious to see what's out there, but knows it's dangerous for Nisai and must keep his wits about him. However, there's something dark in Ash's past that neither Nisai nor Ash like to bring up, but it's a shadow that's haunted them since childhood.
When Nisai is poisoned, Rakel is one of the first on the scene and tries to investigate. Ash is the second and is immediately suspicious of Rakel. As others discover what's happened, Rakel becomes the accused and finds herself in trouble of being the scapegoat. Rakel gets out and sets on a quest to find the ingredients that can save the prince, but Ash isn't going to let her go alone. If there's anything he can do to help, he will. To save the prince, both of them have to risk everything.
THE DARKEST BLOOM is a unique story that involves perfumes and scents as medicine and sometimes even currency. Ash and Rakel are both stubborn people, but seem to work well with each other. Trust is sparse between them but only time can fix that. I love both of their characters because they're smart in their craft and won't take crap from others. The story is a little slow in the beginning and it took me a while to get into it, but it picked up once I did. The word choices were a little strange in some places but the plot is unique enough to hold my interest.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of fantasy, adventure, two unlikely friends, and unique plots.