Big Book,  YA

Scent Of Magic

Maria V. Snyder
scent of magic 2Hunted, killed, survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal 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 confidant, 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

This is the second book in the Healer series and may contain spoilers for the first book.
Maria Snyder is a go to author for me, I eagerly await any new book and I have yet to find one that disappoints. I really enjoyed the first in the series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this.
The book is told in alternating point of view, mainly Avry, when it is written in the first person, but also Kerrick, which is written in the third person. It was an interesting idea to write in both first and third person, one which I found worked quite well. It did make it much easier to tell who was ‘speaking’ at the time.
I loved the character development we see in many of the characters in the book. Characters that featured more heavily in the first book take more of a back seat and new characters come to the fore. What is guaranteed is that you will feel something for all of the characters whether that be love or hate. I did miss certain characters and would have liked to see more of them, but they will more than likely make a return to centre stage in subsequent books.
I was a little apprehensive about reading the book after finding out that Kerrick and Avry would be apart during the book. Their relationship was the thing I loved most in the first book and I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it as much with this taking more of a back seat. I needn’t have worried. Of course because of this there isn’t as strong a romance theme in the book, but then the romance was never supposed to be the central theme anyway. The action and political manipulation that took place more than made up for it. The book still keeps a strong theme on relationships, just less so on the romantic type. It also deals with life and death and the ethics of bringing people back to life.
The only thing that grated slightly were how often the peace and death lillies were mentioned. I realise that they are central to the storyline, but I just don’t get it. Maybe this will be explained in later books though.
Overall this is an incredibly strong middle book. Often second books in a series feel like ‘bridging’ books but this was a fantastic read all in its own right. I’m just so annoyed I have to wait for the next
Verdict: A very strong second book to a series. Yet again Maria Snyder does not disappoint.
Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: December 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None

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