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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Scent of An Angel by Nancy Springer

The Scent of An Angel by Nancy Springer
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (10 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

When a dog discovers that he can't be a witch's familiar because he's white, he sets off on a quest to be the faithful aide to an angel. As his sense of smell leads him from one person in need to another, will he find the ethereal being he's looking for or will his nose, in fact, lead him to the last place he'd ever expect to find his real purpose in life?

Searching for an angel can lead to some adventurous places. An adorable puppy envies the life of a fat black cat who is the familiar of a witch. The cat has a good life, is fed well, has shining fur, a cozy place to live, and a loving owner. The puppy wants that life, but the cat laughs in his face, telling him that a white dog can’t be the familiar of a witch. The puppy comes up with the clever idea, he’ll be the familiar of an angel instead. Now the hard part is, where does one find an angel?

Being a dog, and not a human, this little guy will rely on his sense of smell. This well-written tale unfolds in a series of adventures. The voice of the protagonist is charming, as he tells the story. He trots along and runs into many people and animals in trouble.

A woman finds him and feeds him when he’s hungry and tired. She puts him in bed next to her sick daughter. When the girl dies, the puppy smells the scent of the angels that come for her. Soon the puppy is off again on his search. He passes carts and people of foot, since the setting is the countryside, hundreds of years ago. On his quest for that amazing, sweet scent, the puppy helps more people and animals. Will he find his angel, though? He’s such a loveable little character, one hopes so. Where is this story leading? The suspense is good.

One day he comes across the witch he saw at the beginning, the one with the fat black cat. Someone killed the cat, and the witch is overcome with grief. The puppy comforts her. When the townspeople come after the witch, something surprising happens, a twist at the end.

It’s interesting how the puppy’s search led him to where he was needed. This great little story has a fairy-tale or fable feel to it. It starts out with a historical setting and ends in modern times. There's also a sweet message to it. Quite an enjoyably story, tightly written, it’s a very fast read, and well worth it.

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