by Maria V. Snyder.
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. (Goodreads)
Whilst a lot happened in Scent of Magic I felt as through the chess pieces had been shuffled around without really advancing. There were some minor wins: family reconciliation, motives and enemies revealed, allies made and magic abilities discovered. However, despite these wins I find myself asking 'what was achieved in the end?' Our characters are still at war, the rival leader has been temporarily neutralised but another has already stepped up to act in his place, and the enemy army are still advancing.
We spend a great deal of the novel with Avry believing that she will never see Kerrick again and then after a far too short reunion the story ends with a cliffhanger that would suggest that we will be grieving for him all over again in the next instalment of the Healer series. Perhaps she will attempt to use a Peace Lilly again but that's getting a bit repetitive.
I enjoyed Snyder's writing in Scent of Magic but wanted more from the story. Perhaps this instalment is just laying the groundwork for the next. Still, I'm disappointed that the characters didn't achieve more in their quest to defeat Tohon.
I'm also noticing a pattern across the Healer, Study and Glass series that I don't like. Warning - spoilers ahead. The Heroine is always falling in love with her captor. Ok so at some point the male and female leads begin to work for the same team and the guy turns out to be a decent guy or changes into one. Nevertheless, at some point these men were abusive to these women and I just hate that she falls for him every time.
Despite my disappointment I will read Taste of Death when it is released later this year. I'm still hoping that Snyder can deliver a brilliant grande finale and bring closure to this series.