Scent of Magic is the second book in the Healer series by Maria V. Snyder. It is full of epic fantasy world-building, magic and scheming in addition to our favorite love birds ;-). This time around we get a POV from Avry and Kerrick since they spend most of the book off doing separate things. While I really enjoyed finding out more about all the magic powers, the world, and who doesn’t love a good fantasy war, I found that Scent of Magic felt like too much in one book and only hit the surface of a lot of the events I was supposed to care about.
Note: I purchased Scent of Magic and all opinions are my own.
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder (Healer #2)
Published by Harlequin MIRA on Dec. 18th, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 414 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.
- We get so much world-building and magic in Scent of Magic (appropriate title I guess then!) and I loved it. We find out and VISIT the northern tribes (very unexpected) and see the developing continent-wide war first hand. Scent of Magic did a wonderful job making me really believe in these different countries and factions in the war to come.
- I love it when fantasy stories set up stereotypes about the “barbarian tribes” and then tear those stereotypes down. It was so refreshing that Scent of Magic showed us that all the stories about the tribes aren’t necessarily true and that *gasp* cultures change and develop over time!
- There are several big plot twists in Scent of Magic and while I wasn’t really surprised by them (mostly because I hadn’t been motivated to think much about them), I did enjoy the reveals. They made sense and clicked aspects into place, which is always good for a storyline ;-).
- Normally I don’t enjoy when a series switches to a dual POV, but it helped the plot develop much more smoothly. While some suspense was lost (we know Kerrick isn’t dead since we know what’s going on with him), I really enjoyed the adventure that Kerrick went on on his own.
- Scent of Magic is really about the friendships and alliances that Avry forms. Kerrick isn’t around much, so there is minimal romance, and it turns out Avry is a fully capable human being without the boy around, woot!
- Scent of Magic had the odd habit of describing dialogue that was taking place without the actual dialogue happening. So instead of Avry said “Hi!”, it was Avry greeted everyone and then they discussed some stuff. It made me feel very separated from the characters since I was being told after the fact a summary of what happened instead of watching it happen myself, ya know?
- While there is little romance, there is a lot of pining. Avry and Kerrick are separated and so must declare how much they miss each other every chapter; it’s a requirement ya know.
- Scent of Magic really feels like it should have been two books. It’s pretty long for YA as it is and there was just such a rushed and summarizing feel in order to get through all the events. I just didn’t feel connected to anything happening because I was reading a report on what happened instead of being drawn in.
Scent of Magic does a wonderful job of developing this awesome world and magic system that we were introduced to in Touch of Power. However, it tries to fit so much in that it ended up feeling a bit rushed and cursory fairly often. I enjoyed aspects such as Avry’s friendships and Kerrick’s exploration a lot, but I just wish that I could have been shown what was happening instead of told.