Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

22 February, 2013 Reviews 14 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. SnyderScent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #2
Published by HarlequinAUS on 18th December 2012
Pages: 414
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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 am so very, very glad I picked up another Maria V. Snyder book by getting my greedy little hands on Touch of Power, because I so very much love Avry and the world Snyder has constructed in Healer.  The question is, can it hold up to the first book?  Maybe it depends on the type of reader you are.  For me it almost did, but not quite.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t still a pretty damn enjoyable book.

There was much less of the long walking scenes in this novel and much more of Avry doing what she should be doing.  Avryfying the world with her badassery.  Allow me to list the good things about Scent of Magic:

1. Avry rocks.

2. Kerrick’s around but he’s not (Yup.  You can see why I’m such a well-regarded reviewer, right?)

3. Kerrick becomes like 20% cooler.  Like he went from being Douchetastic to likable.  It was amazing, actually.  Like magic.

4. The shit that happened that I can’t tell you about because – Spoilers!  (Doctor Who fans, just imagine I said that in a River Song voice with a cheeky wink.)

So this book is a lot more suspenseful and has a whole lot of new characters – which is the plus.  Less walking, also a plus.

But it wasn’t perfect.  If you’ve already read the reviews then you’ve likely heard the desperate pleas of fans for the ending which was just… no.  I refuse to speak of it.  That ending?  Gah!

But the issue with the book was inherent in Touch of Power too, so it’s a little silly to complain about.  But those Death/Life lilies are turning into a deus ex machina – and they were already a little bit like that in book one.  However the magical discoveries of this majestic plant keep cropping up.  It’s weird.  You’re immersed in a magical, high-fantasy world where a woman can absorb people’s injuries but these freakin’ lilies seem unrealistic?!

Anyway, end result is that I am definitely reading the next one.  This series isn’t perfect but there is addictive qualities to it as well as my not-insignificant crush on Avry.

*Review copy provided for me by Harlequin AU for reviewing purposes.  No money or gifts were exchanged for this review.  Only love.  Sweet, sweet loving.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

14 Responses to “Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder”

  1. cynicalsapphire

    Those freaking death lilies, man. They are pissing me off something fierce. I mean, I still really liked it for all the points you listed. BUT, yeah, I wish it hadn’t gone in a couple of those directions.

    • KatKennedy

      cynicalsapphire I feel exactly the same! There was a lot I liked about the book but some of it really negated the positive aspects.

  2. cynicalsapphire

    Those freaking death lilies, man. They are pissing me off something fierce. I mean, I still really liked it for all the points you listed. BUT, yeah, I wish it hadn’t gone in a couple of those directions.

  3. Kate C.

    I just got the Glass series by her, used.  (Yay, library book sale!!) I’ve heard varying reports about her style, so I’m definitely excited to see for myself.  Great review, as always.

    • KatKennedy

      Kate C. Tell me how you go.  I’ve read Poison Study and the first two books of this series.  She seems to have a reputation for great first books and not so great follow up books.

  4. lucyleid

    I’ve read all of Maria V. Snyder’s books and love them – if for nothing more than the delightfully pleasurable cheesiness factor. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, one thing keeps bugging me (which I always look past for, again, the delicious cheesiness). We all know this whole ‘totally-in-love-with-him-I’ll-die-if-he-leaves-me’ dependant girl exists in a lot of YA novels these days. I’ll give Maria Snyder credit for making really strong characters that very conveniently (if unbelievably) develop powers throughout her books that help them survive. What I don’t like is how they all end up with males they hate (and who physically abuse them – that’s been present in 3/3 fantasy series). And it’s not gradual either. It’s a process of:
    1) Man is a douchebag
    2) Man gets hated for being a douchebeg
    3) Continues being a douchebag
    4) Continues to be hated for above mentioned douchebaggery
    5) Admits his love for main character out of nowhere
    6) BAM! Yelena/Opal/Avry: Oh my god! How could I not have realized it before? I am SO IN LOVE WITH HIM.
    What? How does that makes sense? Again, not a lot of things make sense in Maria Snyder’s books (like the totally medieval society with industrial factories built throughout and this world’s sayings like ‘ah hell!’) but at least she’s consistent.

    • KatKennedy

      lucyleid It’s true.  They all do seem to go by that formula, but at least she works it so I’m not complaining too much.

  5. sazbah

    “Avryfying the world with her badassery.”
    HEHE! Whelp, this just made my life.
    MEEEEP. Kat. I’m SO glad you liked this! I was dying to see what you’d make of it after Scent of Magic and and and… this makes me happy <3 Kerrick is SO much cooler in this, and I loved that we got to see both of them growing and fighting, rather than damsel in distress and infalliable hero. LOVE.

    Also, I kind of can’t stop staring at horsey head GIF. IS MESMERISING *STARES*

  6. Nemo

    I must be the only person ever who was not bothered by THAT ENDING. Because it’s not the end of the series, so it’s OK, because we know another book is coming. Right?
    Or maybe I’m just that compliant that authors can do whatever they want to me.

    • sazbah

      @Nemo Welllll… it didn’t bother me, because I didn’t believe for a second that he’s in any real danger, you know? I’m convinced he’ll be OK?
      Some cliffhangers, though…I don’t know. If I don’t feel satisfied by the ending, I’ll get grumpy ;D

  7. Kara_M

    Agree about the lilies and OMG agree about the ending. WTF was that bullshit? I hope the next book is just a LITTLE bit better than this one. I still enjoyed this one, just not as much as I was hoping.

  8. alexalovesbooks

    I’ll agree with the fact that it wasn’t necessarily perfect, but I loved it regardless. It was great to see more of Avry coming into her own, and to finally witness Kerrick doing something awesome.

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