Scent of Magic: Healer, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal 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 confidant, 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. That includes 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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 3 minutes|
|Author||Maria V. Snyder|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 15, 2013|
|Publisher||Harlequin Books S.A.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #96,126 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#897 in Contemporary Fantasy
#1,652 in Fantasy Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,797 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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After completing the first book, Touch of Power, I quickly purchased this one; a huge plus to digital reading. I like that the story picks up where it left off but I think my favorite thing is we get the story from both Avry and Kerrick. I enjoy stories that tell varying sides, as long as it doesn't get too carried away and become difficult to keep up. This one is simplistic and a great continuation to its predecessor.
I enjoy Tohon as a villain. I picture him as charming yet demented and it makes him the kind of bad guy you love to hate. Ultimately, I would have liked a little more interaction with him but I still enjoyed his maniacal ways.
I would have liked a little more of Ryne but at the same time, I completely understand the mystery and necessary deception behind his character. I'm not good with military strategy so he consistently had me wondering what he's up to, unlike Tohon, who you pretty much always know he's up to something.
Most of all, I liked that we got more time with Kerrick and a peek into his life. His thoughts, plans, struggles, and feelings. The time he spends in the north is all very interesting and is what sped things up for me and kept me reading. The new alliance he makes is also very intriguing and you just know it's going to be of good use.
Avry is still Avry and she's going to do what she's going to do. Stand-up and defy but still be selfless and caring. There are still times that I smack my own forehead and say "why Avry? You know better!" But it works out.
This odd twist is also found in the secondary characters. All the relationships first built are now separate. Avry ends up with a whole new set of people to interact with. While the story is still a good one, the characters needed to have a chance to develop together before pulling them apart.
Even so, this book would have rated 4 stars if not for the ending. Really? REALLY? We are FINALLY allowed the reunion only to have it ripped from us... And, the cliffhanger reeks of manipulation. After over 400 pages the reader is not allowed any closure but teased with a taste then thrown right off that jagged cliff. Seriously, if the writing weren't so well done, three stars would have been a dream.
I was a bit worried about this one because, in typical 2nd-book-of-a-series fashion, the two main characters of the story, Avry and Kerrick, are separated. They had finally admitted their feelings for one another. They had learned to trust each other. Ryne had been saved. It was time to work together to save the kingdoms from Tohon ... but now they are apart. It could have potentially been a problem. But Snyder simply alternates the story between the first person narration of Avry and her experiences to a third person narration about Kerrick and his experiences. It was very well done. Each segment of the story was told in such a way that I was hanging on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happened next, only to be taken to the other point-of-view. That kept me reading quickly, finding any spare minute I could in order to see what happened next.
The characters in this one are just as wonderful as they were in the first book, and we get to know some new characters as well. I still love Avry. I still love Kerrick. So many characters are working so many angles that it is sometimes hard to know exactly who to trust. And right when I think I know who is trustworthy, the rug is pulled right out from under me, and I fall flat on my back. There were some awesome jaw-dropping plot twists in this one. I even threw out a few "NO WAY!"s as I read. Tohon is still a super amazing villain for this story. He is so, so bad, but he can seem so, so good. He's scary. But he isn't the only villain. And these newer villains are equally creepy in their own way. Snyder may be one of the best villain creators I have read in a long, long time. Very well written.
I wanted there to be more Kerrick and Avry interaction in this one because I like them both so much, but considering the circumstances, I think that it all turned out wonderfully. And those ending chapters? That cliffhanger of an ending? And then to find out that the next book isn't expected until 2014? I think my poor heart can hardly take it. Interesting experience while I was reading these last few chapters ... while I was reading my husband was watching Inception on television, and the soundtrack to that movie went perfectly with the action of the book. My heart was racing hearing the music as I was reading the action of those final scenes. I think I'll have to listen to that soundtrack every time I reread this story.
My overall verdict? Another excellent addition to the Healer series. I highly recommend it. I can't wait to see what happens next. Please let everything be okay. It's going to be okay, right? Five stars!
Top reviews from other countries
I loved the 'poison' series, and I got on OK with the 'glass' series, but as time has gone on, this author's work is becoming incredibly formulaic.
Heroine has a special power. Most people distrust her and treat her with contempt/ dislike. There's a major problem in the realm. Heroine runs around, usually alone, trying to solve problem while slowly gathering up a small elite band of groupies. She is usually on the run or acting covertly. There is usually a child or young adult figure to pull the heart strings. The groupies banter and seem supportive, but are never around when needed. The heroine has blinding flashes of inspiration that she passes on to her groupies, who act on the ideas. Eventually, the situation is resolved due to these breakthroughs, the story ends on a cliffhanger. And on to the next book.
It's a good plot structure, so lots of people use it, but somehow Snyder is producing books that are carbon copies of each other; the heroines only differ in their magic skills, the love interests are identical, there is always a rigid military or social structure. There is always a lot of hard manual work (healing/working/running around the woods). The heroine is required to teach people something, adding innovative ideas that make vast improvements. Heck, they even all seem to wear coloured uniforms and divide territory into numbered sectors!
Even the writing style is formulaic. The paragraphs are consistently short, often 2 sentences (my English teacher used to say 'Never write a paragraph less than 3 sentences long - if it has enough subject matter to be a para, then it deserves 3 or more sentences'. It's a good rule of thumb. With Snyder, even when she writes a longer para, she will often change subject in the middle. Again, it is a simple rule - 1 subject per para. Otherwise you confuse the reader.
And then there are the people! This is the 2nd book in the series, so by this time our heroine has collected enough hangers on, supporters, cute child interest and interested men, that Snyder has begun to group then together, e.g. 'the monkeys' and 'the jumping jacks'. Only problem is there are too many people, too many names... I simply lost track. There is the baddie camp, the monkeys, the jacks, the hero's brother and family, the northern tribesmen, miscellaneous sergeants, the sister, her nasty boss and various resistance personnel. There must be 30+ names, and Snyder hops from one group to the next without enough visual imagery or distinguishing features for me keep track. Some characters are easy (Belen, Kerrick and the bitch air magician spring to mind), but most of the others blur into a smear of supporting characters.
One thing I always love about Snyder's books are that the plot idea is always new and innovative, with masses of scope for fascinating expansion. I just feel that she isn't stretching herself any more. The idea is always great, but once she starts, she just stacks the same old building blocks together to produce the same old book with a different title, skimping on character depth, economising on description and scene setting, and chugging through the action with choppy sentences.
I may go back to 'Poison Study' and see if the writing was really more detailed, personal and interesting - or was it just that my excitement at finding a new author made it seem that way?
Series: Avry of Kazan (#2)
Author: Maria V Snyder
Release Date: 18th December 2012
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.
Scent of Magic is the second book of the Avry of Kazan series and should not be read as a standalone. While the relevant information is given to remind readers of the events of the previous book, the story and the character development are intertwined with the previous events. There may be spoilers for the previous book in this review.
I think I am addicted to this series. There is just something about Avry and her fellow characters that have me well and truly sucked in, more so than Yelena and her cohort in the Chronicles of Ixia, and I very much enjoyed that series too! In fact I even managed to feel kind of mad about the fact I hadn't read this review yet and so couldn't start Taste of Darkness (one of my weird reading rules that I've only ever broken for one series!)
I love Avry, she's a complicated character. It's nice to have a character that doesn't feel an obligation towards their magic, instead Avry wants to use her magic and feels at home when she heals people, its actually a refreshing thing to read. Avry comes across as a people person, though she has her faults naturally and some people don't like her, but she seemed to make more friends in this book and I liked seeing that other side of her.
Now I really liked the way that the POV was split between Avry's first person and Kerrick's third person. Because they weren't together for the vast majority of the book this allowed an insight into several other things that were happening in the book. It's led to some interesting theories on my part on how things will be resolved, though whether I'm right is another matter!
Scent of Magic took me by surprise more than once and I love it when that happens! There were a couple of characters that surprised me, and the identity of Tohon's spy was a complete surprise, I hadn't even considered that.
There were all the characters that I grew to love from book 1 in this, as well as some new ones, and Snyder didn't shy away from loss in this book either. It was engaging and I didn't want to put it down at all!
If you read another Maria book then you know what to expect, that being said. I have read the poison study series with an amazing universe and saw how Yalana and Valek unique relationship developed.. As well as other interesting characters. There was two who was like companions to Yelana, but i forgot their names.. I think one might have been Ari, but they two was interesting characters which is unusual for a story be able to have multiple interesting characters that make an impression.
Later i read the glass series. This was one of the best series i read, but unfortunately well known. This series is set in the same universe and after the poison study series.. Opel was a great main character, like Yalena and we also get to meet characters from the first book. I especially like the book where Valek trained Opel, that was great! Ari (if that his name) was also in the book, who a great character with a great atitude (D.I.D - Damsel in Distress) call.. There was also another scene where opal got 'her free will' stolen, but yet she still resisted and looked for loopholes, which was also great.
It has been a WHILE since i have read these books, yet the universe created and characters in story still stick with me, even though after most books I find it difficult to remember the main character name..
What I am trying to say that Maria V. Snyder is a very talented fiction writer and her stories leave an impression. I will have to go back and read the first story, but i highly recommend this book and currently it available on kindle for £1.09 which is a bargain.