OH MY. Oh my, oh my, oh my goodness, this book was incredible! Taste of Darkness was everything I expected for the final book in this brilliant series and more. There were still some iffy parts that I’m still not too sure about (those Death and Peace Lilys are still the most bizarre things I’ve ever read), but other than that, I LOVED this book. There’s so much going on, between Avry and the gang trying to find Kerrick, and the upcoming war to save the whole kingdom, but at the heart of it all, Avry truly shines in this book. She displays an impressive amount of courage and leadership, she takes charge and fights for those she loves, and she never loses faith in Kerrick
So if you’ve read Scent of Magic (which you should have before starting Taste of Darkness–this series should be read in order!), then you know there was one hell of a cliffhanger at the end. But not to worry folks, Maria V. Snyder gives us an excellent follow-up to that awful cliffhanger. This final book is actually my favorite of the series, despite not loving Kerrick as much.
Avry has her usual stubbornness and her goodness for wanting to heal, but she has matured so much throughout this series. I had admired her already from reading the other books, but my admiration only grew stronger after reading Taste of Darkness. And Kerrick, well, he’ll do just about anything for Avry. He loves her, no doubt about that, but I was a little disappointed in him in this book. He’s weak (magic powers-wise), but I was hoping for more of that spark that he had in the previous two books that made me fall in love with him, but he fell just a little bit short of that. Nonetheless, when these two are together, they make the impossible possible. They love together and fight together, and these two characters have ingrained themselves into my heart. Reading Avry and Kerrick’s adventures, they’ve become so dear to me that it was a little hard to say goodbye to them.
And I can’t forget about the incredible cast Maria V. Snyder has created! The most wonderful part of this fantasy series are the characters. Avry, Kerrick, and the gang are back in action. They’ve been through so much together, and in this final round, they stick by each other no matter what. I love the beautiful camaraderie between these friends. The jokes and banter between everyone made me smile and laugh and love them even more.
And the brilliant story-telling! The book was a bit slow in the beginning, but it was a slow I enjoyed. And when the plot started picking up, there was non-stop action, as usual. But as this is the final book of the series, it’s even more heart-pounding and thrilling to the end. There are strategies to plan, battles to fight, people dying and coming back to life, a freaking kingdom to save. Everything was just WOW. This intricate world hooks you in and never lets you go until the very last page.
Taste of Darkness is an entirely satisfying ending to this series. I’m so sad it’s over, but I’m just so happy with the way everything ends. Maria V. Snyder is just SO GOOD at writing fantasy! (Maybe I should get back to finishing the Study series…)