Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Title:Scent of Magic
Author:Maria V. Snyder
Publisher:Harlequin MIRA
Pub. Date:12/18/2012
ISBN:0778314189 (ISBN13: 9780778314189)

Hunted, Killed—Survived?

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.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Avry survived her first run-in with the evil King Tohon. Well, kind of. Technically she died, but was saved by a plant that may be way more important than she though. She also managed to fall for Kerrick, her traveling partner. However, things are not looking good for the good guys, so Avry and Kerrick part ways for the better good. Avry goes undercover in the army of her sort of ally Estrid while Kerrick goes home to get the aid of his kingdom that he kind of abandoned. Both of them will run into peril and surprises around every corner. If they can manage to stay alive, they might be able to just might be able to figure out how to win this war.

I was really excited to read this book because I loved the first one in this series. I found the beginning to be a little clunky though. I know it's hard to write enough so that a new reader knows what's going on while still moving the story forward, but this seemed a bit awkward. Luckily things smooth out fairly quickly, and once the story gets past the introduction it hums along at a fairly quick clip. There are two main stories here when Avry and Kerrick split up at the beginning. They are both full of peril, and there are plenty of twists and turns for both of them. I really enjoyed the surprises. There were several I did not see coming, so that was really fun. Avry was still a capable and awesome character. She is very determined and wants to make sure she takes care of as many people as possible. Kerrick's parts of the story were fairly short, so I didn't feel that I knew him quite as well. It was still an interesting addition to the overall story.

I guess by nature of being a middle book, it was very dark for the most part. There weren't a lot of happy points, but that helped make the few bright spots even better. Overall the book kept my interest throughout, but the ending was killer. I hate cliffhangers though, and this was a big one. Did it pique my interest for the next book though? Absolutely. Mission accomplished there. This is a great fantasy book, and I really can't wait to read the next one in the series.

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