Monday, December 10, 2012
Scent of Magic
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #2
Description: 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. (find it on goodreads)
Opening line: "I'm dead," I said to Kerrick.
Thoughts: Avry has an unexpected second (or is it her third?) chance at life. Of course, rather than running off for a cozy life with Kerrick, she decides they need to split up so they can both pursue the greater good and the hope of a better world. So noble. So foolish. You can bet I wouldn't be walking away from Kerrick, oh no.
SCENT OF MAGIC is a tense, twisty story that changes the whole playing field. With alternating chapters covering Avry and Kerrick's separate adventures, the action clips along at a decent pace, pulling in several new characters and bring back a few old friends.
What I love about Snyder's books is the way the stories pull me in. I love the worlds she creates and the strange systems that govern them. In this series, I find myself fascinated by the way the magic works, along with the struggles for power. As Kerrick and Avry cover more of the world, more and more forces come into play and the tensions build.
My biggest complaint about this one is that it's very middle book-y. People get moved from place to place, getting from where they were after the first book to where they need to be for the big finale. Stuff happens, but the story here just wasn't as compelling as TOUCH OF POWER. It's ok, it happens with a lot of series, but I simply didn't enjoy this one as much. I was also highly annoyed by the last-minute twist. I hate when authors make that final attempt to grab your attention and get you ready for the next book, which of course you can't actually read for another year or so.
Overall, this is an excellent fantasy series, with lots of magic and adventure, without getting into too much high-fantasy politics and boring detail. I am really liking this series. 4 stars.
Related: You might want to check out this interview with Maria V. Snyder that I did back in 2010 for the release of INSIDE OUT.
Cover comments: I also want to show you the UK cover for this one, because it's pretty cool, though perhaps a touch over the top for my taste. Which one do you like better?
*Transparency: I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.