Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ARC Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Taste of Darkness (Healer #3)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.26 out of 5.00 (200+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
Review by Nara

*Mild spoilers for previous books in the series*
Quotations taken from the ARC and may not be the same in the final copy.

In the third and final installation of the tale of Avry of Kazan, Healer of the Fifteen Realms, fans of Maria V Snyder will most certainly not be disappointed. With all the important questions answered, and a wonderful (and cute haha) ending, Taste of Darkness is a conclusion to remember.
"Does anyone else think she's an ungrateful bitch?" Quain asked.
Loren raised his hand. "Me."
"I wasted a perfectly good dinner for her," Flea said only half joking.
One thing that I find very interesting about this series is that the writing style is very different from most other high fantasies that you find. The tone isn't quite as formal as you usually see. It's quite casual, and almost modern, in a way. We also get many of those snarky and/or hilarious lines filled with the classic Snyder humour. I've included a few (by which I mean two) such quotes in this review.
Ah, the old let-me-show-you-this-rock-formation move. Beau probably had a lady with him.
The world building, as always with Maria V Snyder, is fantastic. Every time I read a Snyder book, I just love how her worlds seem to be so well thought out. And the characters! There are so many interesting characters- take Flea, for example, and his journey to come to terms with his magic. And what about Prince Ryne? I honestly don't know what to think of him. I mean, I have to admit, he's pretty manipulative at times. But for the right reasons? To like him, or not to like him...

And the romance. How could we not talk about the romance? Avry and Kerrick are probably my favourite of the Snyder relationships that I've read about, just because they're so supportive of each other. Even when all the other characters give up on finding one or the other, they continue to have this steadfast belief that the missing character will be found. And they don't wash each other out, as sometimes happens with couples that are this close. Kerrick doesn't cause Avry to collapse into a puddle of swoon, and Avry doesn't make Kerrick become a sappy idiot (although I guess that could be subjective haha). There are other more important things going on in this world that just the romance.

All I can say in conclusion is that if you're a fan of the series, you'll love this book. If you're not a fan of the series, get out (lol totally kidding. Don't know why you're reading this review to the third book in the series if you're not a fan though haha). If you haven't tried the series before- dang. Go grab yourself a copy of Touch of Power asap.


Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5


  1. I'm reading Scent of Magic right now and I have to agree one hundred percent that Kerrick and Avry are so freakin cute omg. I can't wait to get to this book! I'm only half way through Scent of Magic but I think I already like it more than the Study series :O

    1. I know!! I love their relationship :D
      I definitely like this series more than the Study series! I think I just like all the characters a lot more haha

  2. Hahaha. Okay, I wouldn't comment much about this review since the Healer series is new to me. But I am glad that this last instalment didn't lose its firepower. A lot of YA books these days usually suffer from the said syndrome as early as the second book.

    1. Yeah, second book syndrome is always really disappointing, especially if the first book is amazing! But this series is one that continues being really good :D

  3. I read Scent of Magic, but not farther in the series. You're inspiring me to get book 2 so I can finish the series. Thanks for the great review. And Happy Holidays!

    1. All three books are amazing! Definitely worth finishing the series :)
      Belated Happy Holidays to you too :D

  4. Oooh, I can't wait to read this one!! I have loved practically all of Miss Snyder's novels, but the Healer series and the Study series were my favourites :) I always love all the humour and wit! :D And the quotes you chose are the best ;)
    Fantastic review, Nara!! <33

    1. woohoo! I love the humour as well :D It's just so fun to read.
      I hope you can get to this one soon!

  5. Your review got me really curious about this author's books. I've always enjoyed reading fantasy stories, but the world-building isn't always done well. From your review, it seems that Snyder rocks world-building and this is what sparked my interest.

    Mada @ All Fantasy Worlds

    1. Snyder's world building is definitely really good! Her worlds just seem like they've been planned out really well and they're quite interesting to read about :)

  6. Aw, man! I got this book for Christmas and I really need to read it like right now. I have adored this series (although a little less than the Study books, I must admit), and now I am really happy to learn that you think it was amazing (because you are a fan, as well!).
    I get what you mean about Ryne. I don't know if I am a fan of him, either. And I haven't even read this book.
    Snyder is amazing and deserves awards and precious gifts.

    1. haha I prefer this series over the Study series :P
      I love both of them though! All of Snyder's characters are really well developed :)

  7. I have enjoyed the one Snyder book that I have read. I need to read more by her!

    1. Definitely! I think this series is my favourite of her books that I've read :D

  8. Haven't read this series; sounds interesting