Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 18th
See it at Goodreads
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Maria V. Snyder is perhaps one of the most awesome writers I’ve encountered in the last year. And unfortunately, so far I’ve only read this series of hers--but I’m remedying that by buying all of her other works and starting those soon. Touch of Power (book one) is toward the top of my all-time favorites’ list. I love it. I read it just after release in back in January and have been unable to stop thinking about the characters and the world and had been sitting on the edge of my seat all year waiting for Scent of Magic. So, I was pretty excited when I snagged an e-ARC from NetGalley (thanks to Harlequin!) and started reading soon after.
Unfortunately, I felt like it lost some of its magic compared to the first. Maybe it was just me. I’m not sure. I wasn’t a big fan of the switching view points constantly, especially since it didn’t happen in the first book, and while it did help to get to know Kerrick better, I think it made the story weaker in comparison to before. I love Kerrick. He’s rough on the edges, loyal, and determined. I did like reading about his struggles throughout along with Avery’s, but there was a slowness to it and as a reader, I had to be patient at times. I didn’t rush through this one like I had with Touch of Power, and maybe that was a bit of a let down in the end for me.
Also, sometimes, there’s a need for characters to die. And I understand this. It’s an emotional thing, and it carries into the reader. We get attached to these characters. We loved them. We remember them by their deaths. I kind of don’t feel it if they suddenly come back to life. I get this--there’s a story plot here, and something for Avery to work with in the future, but there were times when I wished it had been a different character, maybe a newer character, for the emotional reasons I wanted to hold on to.
The writing is always solid and beautiful and so descriptive I can easily visualize the scenes. And the characters are fantastic. There is no denying that. Each one has their own uniqueness to them.
Once again, I’m left with a cliffhanger that leaves me nail-biting for the next, too. Scent of Magic was fantastic. I adored it and will be anxiously awaiting the next, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Touch of Power. And I’m really looking forward to reading more Maria V. Snyder.