Saturday, January 26, 2013

[Review] Scent of Magic (#2) by Maria V. Snyder

(#2, Touch trilogy)
Touch of Power | Scent of Magic

Maria V. Snyder

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/01/2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 416
Source: For review

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity

My Rating:
Warning! This is a sequel! Spoilers from the first book ahead!

My thoughts

New AUS cover of ToP
Avry sacrificed her life when she decided to heal Prince Ryne. She shouldn't be alive, but she is. Everyone thinks she's dead, and her surprise appearance at the oncoming war could ensure victory against Tohon's army. Avry joins the army in disguise to train the ally soldiers to silently move through the forest. Meanwhile Kerrick is on a certain mission and comes face to face with his worst nightmares...

Scent of Magic is the sequel to Touch of Power and as far as sequels go it does fairly well. The main element that I found so great in Touch of Power (the camaraderie of that tight-knit group) was sorely lacking in Scent of Magic. However, Snyder really went all out-- really, none of these characters that you've grown to love are safe. Tohon's army is growing stronger and larger and war is looming closer.

Avry remains an amazing protagonist, strong and determined even in the face of grief, adversity and confusion. She never gives up. During her time with the army, she re-unites with her sister who is less-than thrilled to see her and yet we eventually see the hardness in her crack just a little bit. I liked that Snyder gave more focus on her sister and what she's had to go through. Avry feels such a sense of duty to keep what little family she has left safe and this is part of what drives her to keep fighting.

"You're not going to give up, are you?"
"No. Because the old Noelle isn't dead. Far from it. She's hiding inside and I plan to coax her out."
"Don't bother." She stabbed her blade into my stomach. Caught off guard, I stumbled back.
..."How about now? Give up?"
Despite the burning pain eating through my guts, I met her gaze. "No."
(p. 159)
Avry and Kerrick separate. Part of the push that kept me reading was the ongoing question of Will they ever reunite? Both Avry and Kerrick face extreme dangers, and nothing is certain. Their relationship is so very sweet and I've rooted for them from the beginning, right from the moment when Kerrick and the gang save Avry from her execution. I just feel like their chemistry and banter have been spot-on from the get-go. The idea that either one won't make it kept me on the alert. Scent of Magic is split up into two perspectives (Avry, Kerrick), which I liked very much as it provided a fuller experience than if we just had one perspective and the other character absent for the majority of the book.

The writing is as you can expect from Snyder: descriptive, atmospheric and always with a mix of steady pacing and action-packed sequences. The realms are on the brink of war, so of course there is a lot of war-related discussion, strategising and planning. I will admit these parts threw me off. The sheer amount of it can throw you for a loop if you're not concentrating. Despite that, the fast-paced parts were impeccably written and the dialogue between familiar characters and new characters is consistent and unique.

Scent of Magic is a heavy sequel, laden with separations and reunions, joy and fear and heartache. Snyder kept me on my toes the whole time- I could not have guessed how things would turn out! Strength and courage reign in this second installment of the Healer trilogy. The characters are simply unforgettable. This book ended on a cliffhanger and so I impatiently await the arrival of the final book in this series with wary anticipation.

First lines:
"'I'm dead,' I said to Kerrick.
He kept his flat expression, and I knew I'd get more co-operation from the cave's stone walls. Too bad for him that I didn't need his approval. But it would be nice if we worked out an agreement at least.


p. 200 ('We're lovers.')
p. 330 (Blech face)

Both of these are slight spoilers, so you can read them when you get to them.



I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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