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Stalking Shadows
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Stalking Shadows
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A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister's curse and stop the killing in her small French town—now in paperbackSeventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on...
A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister's curse and stop the killing in her small French town—now in paperbackSeventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on...
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Description-

  • A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister's curse and stop the killing in her small French town—now in paperback

    Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small 18th-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living at the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison, but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.
    Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastian LaClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets about the curse, about Lord Sebastian . . . and about herself.

About the Author-

  • Cyla Panin lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband and two sons. Her debut novel, Stalking Shadows, was called “both beautiful and brutal” by Kirkus Reviews. She has a bachelor of arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from Mount Royal University.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2021
    This new take on "Beauty and the Beast" puts teen girls at the forefront. Marie Michaud sells homemade perfumes at the town market, saving up for a dowry for her younger sister, Ama. But select bottles are enhanced with honeysuckle and given only to Ama's prey. Last year, Marie's more beautiful sister was sold to the wealthy LaClaire family to work off the debts of the girls' father. Fifteen-year-old Ama returned half-girl, half-beast, and now Marie helps her sister find and mark men who won't be missed during Ama's monthly transformation. But when a small boy is found dead in the square--younger and bearing completely different wounds than Ama's usual prey--Marie seeks to both protect Ama from unjust punishment and others from her increasingly hungry sister. Marie offers her services to the remaining LaClaire family members--young Lucien, who suffers from consumption, and Lucien's handsome older brother, Sebastian, who's struggling to manage the townspeople's gossip after his parents' mysterious deaths during Ama's tenure as a servant--in hopes of finding Madame LaClaire's spell book and curing Ama once and for all. Though the story tends to get bogged down in details and backstory, Panin's debut features rich, complex teen characters, all fighting to be understood within the limits of their small, closed-minded town. Most characters in this fantasy French setting default to White; Sebastian and Lucien are mixed-race (their mother came from Martinique and is cued as Black). A fairy-tale retelling that's both beautiful and brutal. (Fantasy. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2021

    Gr 8 Up-Marie has spent the last year of her life choosing who from her village deserves to die. Her sister Ama went to the big house as a servant and came back cursed to be a beast. Marie only ever marks drunks and vagrants for Ama to kill, but when children start winding up dead, Marie can't help but wonder if she and Ama are losing control of the beast. Determined to bring an end to the curse, Marie sets off to the big house where she convinces Lord Sebastian to take her in after claiming she can help his young brother, Lucien, who is dying of consumption. Panin takes the traditional Beauty and the Beast tale and turns it on its head by making the beast a sibling rather than a love interest. This gives Marie's character an exceptional amount of depth as she struggles to balance her desire to do what's right and newfound feelings for Sebastian and Lucien with the love she has for Ama and the need to break her curse no matter the cost. The pacing feels slow at times, when background is relayed, and too fast at other times, when major revelations are made, but it all comes together in the end to create a touching story of sibling love and learning to accept yourself and others for who they are. Sebastian and Lucien are mixed race (they have a Black mother and white father), and all remaining characters read white. VERDICT A worthy retelling for most fantasy shelves.-Mariah Smitala, Hedberg P.L., Janesville, WI

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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