About the book – beware, spoilers from Touch of Power
Scent of Magic is the second book in Maria V. Snyder’s Healer series. Avry, the last healer in the Fifteen Realms, was kidnapped and forced into service in order to save Prince Rynn – except, somewhere along the way Avry and her kidnappers formed a comradery and Avry volunteered her healing powers in an effort to save her world. Now Avry is on the move again, hidden in plain sight, Avry is practicing caution and keeping her healing powers concealed now that everyone believes the Healer is dead. Meanwhile, Avry’s partner Kerrick, our stony hero from Touch of Magic, must let Avry walk away from him and return to his protect his own kingdom from a new threat – one that could threaten the success of Prince Rynn’s attack on the maniacal King Tohon’s undead forces.
I’m a big Maria V Snyder fan, I did a happy dance earlier this year when she did an interview for Raiding Bookshelves (and offered a giveaway!), and I might have busted out some moves when I was given the opportunity to read an ARC of Scent of Magic. I took to Scent of Magic with the same enthusiasm with which I’ve taken up any of her other books. Yet, I found Scent of Magic was lacking some of the fun I remember from Touch of Magic. The characters are just as real, Avry still has her ass kicking style, and Kerrick is as impassive but passionate as Mr Darcy (for whom women all over the world have a gigantic soft spot).
I had two problems, that I think explained my reticence when giving a review of Scent of Magic.
Firstly, though they made an appearance, there was hardly enough show time for the Monkeys and Belen. That group of mischief making was a big factor in why I enjoyed Touch of Magic so much. They were Avry’s family and I missed the regular interactions between the group. Now that I think about it, I can’t recall all of them being together for more than a page (or two depending what you’re reading from). I needed more Monkey business.
Secondly, a lot happened in this story. There were storming armies, traps, dead and undead, telepathic flowers and deceptions left, right and centre. It was exciting and yet, when I finished, I was left with a sense of incompleteness (this is apart from the utter disbelief caused by the ending – but I’ll get to that). So much happened, and yet I don’t know that the narrative progressed that far. It felt like Snyder used Scent of Magicto give her characters a good work out, but it didn’t flow as well as Touch of Magic.
Enough Complaining – I really enjoyed it and plan on getting my hands on a paperback ASAP
Avry is becoming a much stronger character. She has an opportunity to grow beyond her identity as a Healer. Being a healer might be the focal point of her life, but she takes the opportunity to develop herself beyond the sickroom. She puts her survival skills to the test and comes up triumphant. Kerrick becomes a more open personality. His time away from Avry allows him to reflect on his feelings, while his experiences with the children shows a sweet and protective side that will make all the girls say “awww”.
Scent of Magic is a worthy companion to Touch of Magic and has so many mini-cliff hangers (almost one per chapter), it literally kept me on the edge of my seat. There is one amazing, soul filling surprise that will have Snyder fans everywhere doing fist pumps, as well as several heart wrenching moments and a closing scene cliff hanger that you will feel like a kick in the teeth. Scent of Magic comes out December 18, 2012. Get excited and get reading because Touch of Death is promised for December 2013 and I’m already giddy with anticipation.