Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Written By: Kellie - Jan• 02•13

scent of magic

Series: Healer #2
Publisher:Harlequin MIRA
Publish Date: December 18th, 2012
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Rating: 4/5 – Still in love with this series!

Synopsis: 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. -Goodreads

Thoughts: Gotta admit– I freaked out when I saw that Scent of Magic was available on NetGalley. The first book in this series, Touch of Power was one of my favorite reads of last year and getting my hands on the sequel was pretty much a must. Getting a signed copy at BEA last year was so exciting, and Maria V. Snyder is among my favorite authors. All that being said, I wasn’t as in love with this book as the first, but would still recommend this series for anyone looking for a heartfelt and fun fantasy read.

As Kerrick and Avry spend most of the book apart, there’s a distinct lack of romance in this story. I loved watching these two fall for each other so it was frustrating watching them split up at the beginning of the book. Although, to be fair that did result in two separate  but equally interesting story-lines for this book. I’m curious to see how Kerrick’s adventure will factor into the next (and final?) book of the series.

Avry spent most of  this book more or less in the thick of the war with a set of new characters, and her healing abilities didn’t feature as heavily. While the political elements were still an interesting element, this felt like a very different book from the first in the series.

One of the main pulls of the first book was the dynamic between main character Avry, love interest Kerrick and their friends. It was clear early on that the group was going to be divided through most of the book and that was pretty disappointing. Eventually it ended up feeling like a game of musical chairs as characters popped in and out of the story line. The characters we already know and love were still great, but they tended to get lost in the shuffle of new characters that I couldn’t always keep straight.

The exception to this were the antagonist characters, both of whom were really well written and dynamic. Tohon is such a creep and Jael is still a full on crazy person who has way too much power. You’ll be mentally shaking your first at them in frustration throughout.

It’s rare for me to find a genre crossover that I’m happy with, but the mix of fantasy and zombies in this series is really cool. In all of my recent zombie fanaticism, I’d forgotten all about necromancers and the undead havoc they can wreak, and this is the type of zombie Avry is facing. Definitely problematic for the characters, but really interesting to read.

Gotta say, there are few authors better at creating wonderful and original fantasy worlds than Maria V. Snyder. Like her Study series, the world in these books has a great history and magic system that go along way towards bringing the world to life for readers. There’s so much going on, but the book never got bogged down with uninteresting detail and managed to keep up a great pace from beginning to end.

Overall, a good addition to this series, but it didn’t leave me dying to read the next book. I still will, but I’m more than happy to tackle to rest of my 2013 TBR list in the meantime.

You can visit Maria V. Snyder on her website, here.

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One Comment

  1. I haven’t read any of Snyder’s books, but she’s on my radar!

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