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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Scales of Ash & Smoke is a work of fantasy fiction by Emily Schneider and was written for the young adult reading audience. Encompassing romance, thrills, magic, fantasy, war, and conspiracy, this is a rollercoaster ride that centers on protagonist Kaida. At the tender age of seventeen, Kaida has known only the enslavement she suffers at the hands of destructive dragons, those who slaughtered much of the human race in the past of her world. However, when she is rescued by the enigmatic Prince Tarrin, a new revelation shocks her, causing Kaida to examine all she thought she knew about herself. With a newfound ability, the fate of the world before her, and a burgeoning romance, it’s up to Kaida to put her heart on the line and perhaps risk destroying it forever.
Emily Schneider has crafted a masterful work of YA fantasy fiction which contains all the must-have ingredients for a thrilling read, from a compelling central pair of characters to a lavish and atmospheric setting filled with danger and intrigue. One of the features I especially enjoyed about this novel was its plot handling, weaving many threads of secrecy and conspiracy that kept the storyline rich and unpredictable. The character arc for Kaida is well-paced, and she becomes deeper, more likable, and more realistic with every chapter as life sends new shocking moments to test her mettle. Overall, I would highly recommend the sensational Scales of Ash & Smoke to YA readers of fantasy, romance, and suspense novels alike.