The army of the dead are coming… Avry of Kazan, the last Healer of the mystical Fifteen Realms, has a power that can’t be matched. But in the minds of her friends and foe alike, Avry no longer exists. Now, as the psychotic King Tohon builds an army mightier than any that has been seen before - a league of undead soldiers - Avry must face her toughest, most terrifying battle alone. Fighting to be reunited with her family and her lover Kerrick, Avry must infiltrate Tohon’s troops. But does she have the power, the rare magic; to do what legend says is impossible?
I am a very big fan of Maria V Snyder's novels, I find the worlds she creates are interesting and the stories she tells are good at pulling me out of the real world and into a fantasy world where I can laugh and cry with the characters she creates. With A Scent of Magic, however, I found myself rather bored of the main characters and the story pretty quickly.
I kept reading because I am a fan and it couldn't be a bad a slog as the Glass series and I was right. The beginning of the book started off pretty slow, where the last one left off with Avry and Kerrick escaping from Tohon and realising that they are madly in love with each other. The first few chapters are filled with the two of them moaning over the fact that they have had to separate from each other but by about five chapters in both of them have better things to worry about then each other.
If I hadn't read all of Snyder's books I would have found the book a lot more engaging and by the end of it I didn't want to put it down, begrudging the fact that I had to put the book away at the end of my commute to work. I did like the fact that everything seemed to go from bad to worse in the book, Avry and her companions can not catch a break and this I liked. Even the end of the book didn't end well, which left an emotional cliff-hanger for a very emotionally charged first few chapters for the third book in the series.
I will admit that the only reason I found this book as dull as I did was because I have read all of Snyder's other series and by the time this book came around I got bored of the standard few characters that Snyder seems to use. While I like the independent strong female lead, the comedic two sidekicks, the love interest that is usually someone with a special power, Snyder seems to use this combination in a lot of her books, with the exception of Inside Out.
Snyder has, however, been able to create another world with another set of interesting rules for the use of magic. One that I am curious to explore outside of the confines of the novel. I am also very curious to see how the story wraps up, a rather interesting plot twist towards the end of the novel has piqued my curiosity as Avry breaks away from the one thing that Snyder's lead females tend not to do.
I still think that if you are going to read any of Maria V Snyder's books it should be the Study series but failing that you can't really go wrong with Touch of Power and Scent of Magic. They are good solid fantasy books for young adults. Although I am bored of the characters I can't wait to read the third book. The story has kept my interest enough and there are so many unfinished story lines that I will be annoyed to have to wait for the next book, although I won't be too annoyed.
Review by Anna Sheldrick
Maria V Snyder published her first novel Poison Study in 2006, a title which went on to win the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. Continuing this remarkable fantasy series, Maria soon wrote Magic Study and then Fire S [...]
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