Friday, December 7, 2012

Add to Goodreads
Title: Scent of Magic
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer, book #2
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Source: galley from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

I don't know where to begin with this review because all I really want to do is fangirl over Maria V. Snyder and say things like, "Ohmigawd...I love this book sososososososo much and you should totally read it."  And maybe that would get my point across, but that's not really my style.

Instead, I'm going to admit that I stalk the heck out of Maria on her blog, on her website, and anywhere else I see a mention of her or her books, and I read every snippet and excerpt I can get my hands on.  I have enjoyed every single one of her books that I've read, which is everything but the Glass series, and she is a master at world-building in her sci-fi and fantasy novels.  Which is kind of impressive considering she says, "I struggle with details. I tend to go light on details, preferring to focus on action and dialogue," in the FAQ section of her website.  It doesn't show.  While her stories aren't of the fantastical variety that become mired in details as some fantasy novels are wont to do, the lack of flowery descriptions doesn't cheapen the experience.  In fact, her focus on action and dialogue enhances the reading experience for me, rather than it being diluted by overly descriptive prose.

Scent of Magic is no different.  From the opening lines of the novel, I was immediately transported back to the Fifteen Realms, trekking through the forest with Avry and Kerrick and wondering what had become of Belen and the monkeys.  That's another thing about Snyder's writing...her phenomenal cast of characters.  No one character is too big or too small; they all have a role to play and they feel genuine while doing so.  I never even sense a betrayal until it's already happened.  I'm always caught off guard in her books, something I very much look forward to because I'm not easily surprised in my reading these days.

I wasn't, however, caught off guard by the romance that developed between Kerrick and Avry in the first book.  Like Belen, I'd watched them start out as enemies and then gradually grow to become friends and then ultimately something more.  That's my favorite way to watch a relationship progress.  And these two are so equally matched, in skill and in cunning, that it just makes sense for them to find comfort and companionship in one another.  These two are separated for much of the story this time around, but their thoughts are never far from the other and the love between them is plain as day.  Many of the characters meeting them for the first time even remark upon it.

I have never read a Snyder novel that felt like a middle book, and the tradition continues with Scent of Magic.  Touch of Power set up the nemesis and the fight between good and evil in the kingdoms, and Scent of Magic simply waged the war that had already been brewing.  There's a little bit of history thrown in -- we get to see where Kerrick grew up! -- and there are more characters added to the mix, but there is never a lull in the story and there is never even an opportunity for boredom to set in.  So much is going on in this story that you simply want to see it through to the end.

Speaking of the end, I think Snyder might just want to see all of us heartbroken before this is all over.  If you've read the first book (or even if you haven't) and you don't like cliffhangers, I suggest you wait until Taste of Death is released next year or you'll be waiting in agony like myself.  It's a great ending to the second book, but it's also one of those that will make you scream and want to tear your hair out because "no way is she going to leave it like that"...flips page, flips another and another...."Aaaaahhhhhh!  She is leaving it like that, the dirty rotten scoundrel!"  She's not...a dirty rotten scoundrel, that is, but she is devious.  J

Maria V. Snyder writes books that I want to read cover-to-cover in one sitting and then promptly re-read.  I never tire of her characters or their banter, even though they frustrate me at times, while making me laugh or cry the next moment.  This is the kind of fantasy series that might appeal to those who usually shy away from this genre, simply because it isn't grueling and there's just so much action to fuel the story.  It's not what I'd call fantasy-lite because magic plays such a huge role in the storyline, but I think your average non-fantasy buff would enjoy it.

Rating:  Photobucket 1/2


  1. I just got this book like yesterday and I literally ran around the house screaming I was so excited! I really need to read this one like yesterday. Great review!! :)

    ~Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

    1. Haha...I know you're a big fan of the author, too. Can't wait to see what you think!

  2. What is that word you Southerners use for damn? That is how I felt when I read your review. I was tempted to pick up book one last year on NG when I first started my blog but then I read a few lackluster reviews and passed it over. I have wanted to try this author for awhile and it sounds like I am missing out!

    1. Haha! DANG, Heidi, you haven't read the first book yet? LOL. You are definitely missing out if fantasy is your thing. (It's totally mine!) Do you listen to audio? I listened to all of the Study series (Poison Study is still one of my all-time favorite books) and was hooked on her story-telling abilities from the beginning. I might classify all or most of her books as new adult, though, because they feature protagonists who are over 18, usually around 20 or so, and there is some sex, though it's not glorified...usually a fade to black type thing.

  3. I loved the first book but I will admit I'm having problems with this one. First off the formatting for mine is horrendous. There are no chapters and when the story goes from Kerrick to Avry, it literally doesn't break. It goes from one second to the next in the same paragraph. I'm glad to hear that you really enjoyed it. It gives me hope that I will start getting into it soon.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

    1. THIS. The formatting on mine was terrible, too. Did you read it on a Kindle or Nook? Mine was a Kindle-version, and it did throw me off, but I eventually got used to it. I hope you can overlook it, too, because the story gets really, REALLY good. :)

  4. I loved LOVED her Poison series! Though i havent finished it yet, reading this review makes me want to go back and finish it! Ive got this book for review and your awesome review has made me excited to read it!!
    I totally agree with how cunning Snyder is. You can never second guess her actions. I simply cannot get the concept of the butterfly poison out of my mind since I read Poison Study!
    Addie @

    1. Poison Study is seriously one of my favorite books. I loved reading how the characters evolved on her site. I hope you love this one, too, Addie!

  5. I LOVE Maria V. Snyder's books! And I loved this one as well. I wasn't thrilled when Kerrick and Avry split up, but I ended up really liking both of their stories. THAT ENDING! My God. I have to assume some things about it, regarding a probable solution, that I won't post here. I will just say my inference involves the person Avry found and the stuff he can do.

    1. I really sucked that they were separated for so long. I'm with you...that ending was CRUEL but I inferred the same thing, so I have hope. As much as Snyder likes to torture us, I can't believe she'd leave us hanging like that. But did you see that she's writing more from Yelena and Valek's world? SQUEEEEEE!!!!

  6. Thanks for the wonderful review Jen! I'm going to have to quote you on some of this - it's just too good not to share :)

    And I agree - I'm evil and cruel and nasty and devious. I've never ended a book like this before and I figured my editor wouldn't let me do it, but she liked it - so I can blame her, right? No - it's where the book wanted to end - I'm an instictive writer - I go with my guts. For those who don't want to be tortured for a year - don't read the last three pages. See? I can be nice ;>

    I hope the formatting was due to it being on NetGalley and won't be like that for the final release! In the print edition, there's a page break after Avry's section and then Kerrick's name marks all his sections. I'll look into it regardless.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...