Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: Scent of Magic By Maria V. Snyder

Title: Scent of Magic (Healer #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Harlequin (UK) Limited & NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.21 out of 5.00 (2, 200+ ratings)
Goodreads link

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.

Review by Chantelle
** WARNING: contains spoilers for Touch of Power (Healer#1)**

After the immensely thrilling conclusion to Touch of Power, I could barely contain myself when Scent of Magic was released. I mean, Avry didn't die!!! (Not that anyone knows)... She also finally got with Kerrick, which meant that I couldn't have been any happier. Everything was looking up. However to thwart the evil Tohon who's reanimating the dead, they plan to split ways, and their respective paths are what this sequel revolves around, with both Avry and Kerrick receiving POVs. Personally, I found this a let down, purely because I thought that their romance was such a strong driving force in the first novel, that the prospect of it being absent in the second novel was a setback for me. What it actually means though, is that there's a stronger emphasis on the fantasy element that was probably weaker in Touch of Power. There's more character development as Avry comes to realise more of her own strengths, and there's more action, more adventure as the stakes are higher. 

There were so many avenues left unexplored in the first novel like the potential of the Peace lilies, Tohon's motives with Avry; and obstacles to overcome such as Avry sneaking behind enemy grounds, and Avry's damaged relationship with Noelle, her sister, that there is not a boring chapter. Readers will find that Snyder really expands her fantasy realm in this new installment, with exciting new tribes, new magic, and of course new possibilities. The odds are constantly changing in this heated sequel. Scent of Magic is certainly adventurous - it's full of so many developments and discoveries I almost lost track, but in a good way. The book has a good pace to it, and is a pretty successful sequel. 

Snyder has definitely established herself as a talented writer of young adult fantasy. Her imagination and concept of these Peace and Death lilies that are all consciously connected is so addictive! The ideas are genuinely fascinating, but boy does she love twists. If book one was the romance, then book two is the tragedy. Every time Avry seemed to barely escape danger, something happens and she's knee deep in it again, like every. time. Now I don't want to be considered an emotionally fragile, needs-to-be-sheltered reader, but I do have a limit to the amount of times I can read about everything going wrong. It seems as if Snyder knew that limit, and then added about ten more obstacles in Avry's path to irritate me. Therefore the plot was quite bleak for me, but that could just be me having Avry/Kerrick (Avrick?) withdrawals.  

Scent of Magic is genuinely a good novel, great even despite the lack of romance. I'd still highly recommend this series for anyone who's looking for a great fantasy read! 

Many thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley for providing me a copy of Scent of Magic!

Overall: 7.5/10
Plot: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5


  1. Great review, I didn't want to read too much though because I haven't read the first few books yet.

    1. haha yeah no worries, I really hope you enjoy the series! They're well worth the read, thanks for dropping by :)