Rummanah Aasi
  Scent of Magic is the second book in the Healer/Avry of Kazan series by Maria V. Snyder. Since I enjoyed the first book, I was really happy to find the second book on Netgalley. Many thanks for the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. Scent of Magic has already been released and is now available at a library/bookstore near you.

Description (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.

Review: Scent of Magic picks up right where Touch of Power leaves off. Though the author does provide a good recap of what previously happened, I would still recommend reading Touch of Power to get a good sense of the characters and the world building. Avry and Kerrick are together, but their friends and enemies think she is dead. Using the advantage of her rumored death, Avry impersonates a soldier, infiltrates and teaches the High Priestess Estrid’s army how to move silently through the forest undetected while trying to get close to her estranged sister. Meanwhile, Kerrick leaves to warn his own kingdom of Tolon's threat and sets off on his own adventures.
  Scent of Magic tries hard to avoid the middle book syndrome, but doesn't quite succeed. There are tons of new characters introduced and a new game plan is set to avoid the potential catastrophe of the incredibly evil Tolon's army. Tolon as you may recall is a magician who has the ability to awaken and control the dead. The book's structure is quite strange. Each single chapter is divided into Avry's and Kerrick's point of view. Avry's parts of the story were more enjoyable because I really like her character plus we also get to spend time with our great secondary characters. (As a side note, Snyder is only of the few authors that I've read who creates fantastic secondary characters that you love just as much as you love the main leads.) Kerrick's point of view, however, didn't really have much excitement. While the author does try to put his best characteristics forward, Kerrick does absolutely nothing for me. Can you believe that I wouldn't really mind it if there was a love triangle in this series?
  In addition to the clunky structure, I felt the plot twists were a bit too convenient and easy to figure out. Instead of being completely surprised, I thought they were anticlimactic, especially with the rushed and melodramatic cliffhanger ending. Some events such as the meeting between Avry and her long lost sister happened too quickly than I would have liked. Also Tolon unfortunately changed from a formidable and unpredictable villain to a complete moron. I was really embarrassed for him.    

  While Scent of Magic is a bit disappointing, I'm still curious to see how Avry's journey ends. I do like and care for the majority of the characters enough to see this series ending. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, disturbing images, and sexual situations. Recommended for teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: The Shifter by Janice Hardy, Study series by Maria V. Snyder, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Fire by Kristin Cashore, Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
4 Responses
  1. Was the first book ever from Kerrick's point of view? I can't remember. When you say that Tolon is incredibly evil, does he come off feeling like a cardboard villain?

  2. Every chapter is divided into two POVs? Is the transition seamless then, Rummanah? I know even alternating chapters between two different characters can be confusing sometimes so I'd be worried about going back and forth between two characters' thoughts in one chapter.

  3. Candace Says:

    I have had this on my 'read next' pile since before it came out and still haven't had a chance to get to it. Its too bad it was a little disappointing to you, hopefully I like it more. I'm very curious about how she does the POV changes. I'm going to read this soon!

  4. Lauren Says:

    Sorry this one was a bit of a disappointment and that it suffered a bit from middle book syndrome. Glad you liked it enough to continue with the series, though. I still need to pick up Touch of Power. Perhaps I'll wait until book three comes out. Great review!

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