ARC Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 31st 2013
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Harlequin MIRA) in exchange for an honest review

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.

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…)

4.5 hearts
lacey

Reading Order: Healer series

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

#1 ~ Touch of Power: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Scent of Magic: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Taste of Darkness: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

Advertisements

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 18th 2012
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback

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.

Maria freaking V. Snyder does it again! Scent of Magic is another excellent book in the Healer series, which I am totally in love with. Maria V. Snyder does fantasy so perfectly–if you’re looking to read a fantasy book, you must read Maria V. Snyder. And oh my, Scent of Magic was just too good.

To be honest, I was a bit worried, because in the blurb, it says “And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.” When I saw that, I went NOOOO, because I adore Kerrick, and I wanted more of him and Avry. They FINALLY got together at the very end of Touch of Power, and it made be so happy. But it’s not only the romance I love about them. The author writes them in a way that is so perfect–it’s the way they work together, how they’re so kickass and strong independently and together that really appeals to me. The Healer series is not a romance, but a fantasy book with romance in it. Which is perfect for me!

Okay, okay, back to me being worried. Was I worried? Yes. Did I need to be worried? Absolutely not. Imagine my surprise when I saw after chapter one the word KERRICK at the top of the page! Yes, we get Kerrick’s POV! Technically, it’s third person, but who cares? We get to see Kerrick’s side of the story, since he and Avry don’t get to physically be together. Avry is believed to be dead by everyone, and only Kerrick knows differently. And they have to use this advantage to fight against Tohon, the evil, intriguing megalomaniac. Avry must go back to find her sister while Kerrick must go to meet up with Prince Ryne to make battle plans.

I loved reading Kerrick’s POV, and learning more about him since we didn’t get very much in the first book. I like the way he thinks, the clever way he plans everything. He’s a very straightforward man, and his top priorities are Avry and helping Prince Ryne defeat Tohon. He makes me swoon so freaking hard. Love this man.

Avry is equally fantastic as well. While trying to make amends with her sister, Avry disguises herself and joins Estrid’s army (who is an ally of Ryne). She integrates herself into the soldiers’ lives, becoming familiar with them, and even developing friendships. Avry also has to teach these soldiers how to successfully move about silently while out on the battlefield. I was glad to see that Avry and Kerrick still managed to be grow independently, and does a lot of growth in this second novel. I admired her even more–she can heal people and fight people with her swords!

Scent of Magic is just divine. But fair warning, there is a KILLER cliffhanger at the end! Other than that, this book is definitely not a disappointment for fans of the first book. It’s an excellent sequel, and the plot is just brilliant! Twist after twist that I did not see coming, and there’s non-stop action. 4 hearts!

4-hearts

lacey

Reading Order: Healer series

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

#1 ~ Touch of Power: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Scent of Magic: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Taste of Darkness: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 20th 2011
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve read a YA book, and a fantasy one at that, but what better way to get back in the genre than with Maria V. Snyder? I adored Poison Study, which is the only book I’ve ever read from the author, but Maria V. Snyder can do fantasy like no other. Reading Touch of Power just reminded me of how much I love fantasy books. I miss that genre!

As a healer, 20-year-old Avry has the power to take away other people’s injuries, and assume them as her own. If they have a broken bone, she can use her healing magic to fix it back, but she’ll have a broken bone herself. Even dire injuries that are fatal wouldn’t be fatal to Avry because her healing powers improve and speed up her recovery. But as miraculous as her powers are, healers like her have been hunted ever since the devastating plague broke out. Healers couldn’t heal those infected with the plague without dying themselves, which is abnormal. And so Avry has been on the run for 3 years trying to survive, except she gets caught by a group of men who want to use her powers to save a prince who might be able to save the kingdom from being taken over by an evil tyrant.

Avry is a fairly impressive heroine. She’s tough, she’s loyal, and she’s very adamant about using her powers for good. She’s not afraid to take on any illness or injury, no matter how dire, but she refuses to help save Prince Ryne for certain reasons. The gang who kidnaps her (Kerrick, Belen, Flea, Quian, and Loren) try to convince her to change her mind, but ultimately, they force her to travel with them across the land to get to the prince.

adored Kerrick. The second I read “Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own” from the blurb, I knew there was going to be some tension going on between him and Avry. Kerrick is a cold-hearted man in the beginning of their journey, only wanting to use Avry for her powers, not even viewing her as a person, but as the group travel across dangerous terrain, fighting against enemies and creatures, and fighting for people worth saving, he lets down his defenses. He starts to have a heart (not that he’d let anyone know), but as their leader, he has to be tough and ruthless. And I loved that Maria V. Snyder was able to build up the romance without even focusing on it. And even if there was no romance, I’d still be content with the book, because the plot is just that good!

I loved the other characters as well. The six of them bond through their travels, and they end up building a camaraderie and caring for one another. And sometimes the gang is just hilarious! I admit I was chuckling at parts, because they pick on each other all the time. Their group isn’t just based on duty, but also on friendship.

There’s so much going on in this book, and there are so many twists and turns, and I highly enjoyed it! I love how even though it’s a fantasy book, and there are people with magical powers, all the characters still felt believable. I could connect with Avry, and I really admired her character. Kerrick is freaking awesome, along with the rest of the gang, and there’s a nasty villain who’s complicated and intriguing. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was the writing. Or should I say Avry’s narration? Either way, it’s didn’t really sound like a 20-year-old woman, but the story was still able hook me in so I overlooked that. Other than that, Touch of Power is a wonderful fantasy novel that I highly recommend to fantasy lovers and non-fantasy lovers alike!

4-hearts

lacey

Reading Order: Healer series

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

#1 ~ Touch of Power: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Scent of Magic: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Taste of Darkness: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads