If I am looking for a fantasy that includes romance and swoonworthy moments, I usually turn to Maria V. Snyder’s books. They tend to give me good returns on my feelings investment. After being approved for Taste Of Magic, I knew that I needed to hurry up and read Scent Of Magic, the second book in her Healer series, and a book that has been on my TBR since December 2012. Friends, I fell into Scent Of Magic wholeheartedly and was absorbed in reading the sequel for days on end. It’s quite a departure from Touch Of Power but still ended up giving me a pretty decent return on my emotional investment, if not giving me a whole lot of kissing scenes.
Scent Of Magic picks up where Maria V. Snyder’s Touch Of Power leaves off. Avry has healed Prince Ryne and everyone thinks she is dead. She and Kerrick use this to their advantage, as Avry dons a pretty decent disguise and goes undercover in Estrid’s army so that she can convince her sister Noelle that she’s good, and also so that she can help in the fight against Tohon who basically wants to take over the Fifteen Realms. Meanwhile, Kerrick is on his way back to his home kingdom and is almost attacked but has to give his sword up, which ends up convincing everyone that Kerrick is dead. Avry makes herself an asset with the army, using not her healing skills, but her skills of being quiet in the forest, and she teaches the different military members those skills, earning their respect. Meanwhile, Tohon’s forces of undead soldiers are closing in, only no one in Estrid’s army truly believes Tohon is using the dead. Kerrick gets home to find out that the Tribes are invading his kingdom, so he has to go fight them. Adventures unfold.
I am sort of drawing a blank on what Avry was like in Touch Of Power, so it is hard for me to speak to her character development over the course of two books. Sticking to just Scent Of Magic, I will state that I found Avry to be incredibly likable. She is stubborn. She disobeys orders by other people and maybe does things that go against precaution in order to advance an ultimate goal. I respect a girl who takes a risk and that is what Avry does. Her risks are not foolish, either. She also is the sort of character who expects to earn the respect of others, not to be handed it. There’s a scene where she earns the respect of a division and it is kind of interesting and fun to read. Avry certainly does not lack for convictions and as I read Maria V. Snyder’s sequel, I found myself liking Avry more and more. I can’t wait to see how the story resolves for her in Taste Of Darkness.
Avry’s love interest, Kerrick, features more strongly in Scent Of Magic. You see, he gets his own third person point of view chapters in this book. I felt this allowed us to get a much better glimpse of him as a character. It also does a good job of breaking up the reading with a dual storyline and to provide a more complete picture of what is going on in his end of the Fifteen Realms. Like Avry, he is also headstrong and stubborn. One thing I liked about Kerrick was how concerned about honor he was and how it basically factors into positive outcomes for him, as opposed to an Eddard Stark type outcome. Y’all, I still think he’s swoonworthy and this book just cemented that opinion.
Snyder’s building of the Fifteen Realms totally expands in Scent Of Magic. We get to learn about people outside of the realms, basically referred to as the Tribes. They are so different from those within the realms, but still fascinating to read about. Basically they have their own customs and rituals. They fight using cool weapons. They also have magic, but a different sort than Kerrick and Avry. I quite liked how Snyder added in the Tribes. I also enjoyed learning more about the abilities of the Peace Lilies and the Death Lilies. I am interested in seeing the final role the plants play within the final book. I also enjoyed reading about the war tactics. There is a lot going on within Scent Of Magic, but it all melds together in away that personally works for me.
I will admit that the pacing in this book is not quite as fast as the first in the series. It’s an okay pace, but nothing where I was frantically flipping pages waiting for some inevitable kissing. Rather, Kerrick and Avry do not have that much page time together. This is unfortunate as I like shipping them, but does provide an exploration of other parts of the world and allow for dual plot lines that eventually connect. Overall, I think that Scent Of Magic by Maria V. Snyder advances the series in a positive direction and has me so excited for the final book. I definitely cannot wait to see how it plays out and also to see how Snyder resolves that cliffhanger.
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided Via Amazon Vine