Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter. Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action. Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe. On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.
What I loved: The book is really involved with many characters and plot twists that make this a complex read. The premise is really interesting with magic and how it manifests as well as how people have made their societies and the rules that hold them together. The magic is an interesting combination of technology and something more, and it's really involved and intriguing.
What left me wanting more: I found it challenging to follow the history and background of things. The book thrusts us into the story quickly and more time to catch up and settle with characters would be helpful. A lot of the society and history/how things work is assumed and not really told, which would have appeal for some readers.
Final verdict: SCARLET ODYSSEY is an intricate and intense magical journey. This is lengthy and quite involved with many characters and perspectives, so could appeal to fans of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and GAME OF THRONES series.