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About the Book
Shadows of Hemlock; K.M. Pohlkamp
Adult; Crime Thriller; 360 Pages
Filles Vertes Publishing; None edition (November 19, 2019)
Regret is a bitter poison. In a desperate grasp for prestige, Aselin Gavrell betrayed her master to the execution block for the advantage of the onyx pendant now around her neck. Shelter from her master’s crimes comes with an unwanted allegiance and a list of innocents to murder. But the Guild of poison assassins will not be so easily pacified and charge Aselin to develop an antidote as retribution of her betrayal. Unprepared for the independence she craved, Aselin is forced to seek aid from a fickle contact who wants only one means of payment: a ruby ring with a mare’s head. To save herself from her master’s fate, Aselin must navigate a growing list of debtors eager to toss her aside and confront her guilt in this fast-paced tale of growth and redemption in Tudor England.
About the Author
K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife to the love of her life, a proud mother of two, and a Mission Control flight controller. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Houston, Texas.
Strong, independent, female characters and anti-heroes return in K.M. Pohlkamp’s much-anticipated sequel to Apricots and Wolfsbane, Shadows of Hemlock.
Aselin Gavrell made a fateful decision, and one she may live to regret when she betrayed her mentor. Now, she sits indebted to the man who arranged the betrayal.
Worse, the Guild doesn’t recognize Aseline’s supposition of her former Master’s status.
And because Fate will challenge the willful, not only does Aselin have a list of targets that she won’t be paid for, she also has four short months to discover an antidote to her poison of choice – Hemlock.
As she works her way through her benefactor’s list and comes to realize how petty their slights really were, Aselin begins to question her choices and form a plan to avenge her mentor and redeem herself.
Sequels are notoriously difficult, and they are frequently seen as less than the first. I admit that I struggled with Aselin’s character (to be fair, her mentor challenged me, too, on Apricots), but the story kept me engaged, pulling me from page to page as Aselin’s arc accelerated and grew into her purpose.
This can be read as a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so. Aselin’s story begins in Apricots, and so many characters pull from that tale to this that much of the detail could be lost. Start with book 1, and be ready to dive into book 2. A solid 4 stars.
The lineage of women assassins continues with Aselin, apprentice to the late Lavia. Desperate to prove her worth to the world of poison masters and her patron, her pride guides her, mixed with the teachings of Lavinia and the guilt of her brother’s death. With the daunting tasks ahead of her, can she prove her worth, or will she be marked as both an outcast and a criminal?
Shadows of Hemlock is certainly as captivating and Apricots and Wolfsbane, and teaches you much about the assassin world the author has created. Poison on the right and one’s poison of choice shows just what kind of assassin you are. Captivating, descriptive, and overall pleasing to read, I strongly recommend to all historical fiction lovers, murder lovers, and to all people in general.
Buy the Book
This book is available from Amazon here:
Other books in the series:
Apricots & Wolfsbane (book 1)
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