Rummanah Aasi
  2014 doesn't seem to be the year of good finales. I've been sad to see some of the books series that I've been looking forward to end on such a sad note. I'll have to add the last book in the Avry of Kazan/Healer series, Taste of Darkness, to the pile of disappoints. Please note that this review is based on the advanced reader's copy of the book provided by the book's publisher via Netgalley.

Description: She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears? Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever. But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

Review: I really hoped Taste of Darkness would end the Avry of Kazan series on a high note, but unfortunately it didn't. The book does not read like a whole novel but rather little novellas stringed along together. There are many subplots featured in this book in addition to the overall plot arc of saving the Fifteen Realms from evil rulers. Due to the episodic nature of the book, I didn't really feel invested in really any of the missions and had to put the book down because it wasn't holding my attention.
  Avry is still likable as a heroine and her relationship with Kerrick grows stronger. Both of these characters find a way to work around with their own flaws of stubbornness and putting other people's needs before their own. Since Avry and Kerrick go on separate adventures, the narrative is split in two, each of them having their own point of views. I liked Avry's point of view more than Kerrick since I was never really a fan of him, especially with how he treated Avry in the first book, and that many of the secondary characters that stole the show for me were featured in her point of view. I was surprised to find out a new villain was introduced in this book only because I didn't think the story arc featuring the earlier villain, Tohlon, was complete. Though The Skeleton King appeared menacing, I didn't think he was fully developed and didn't come across as strong in the book. Overall, the Avry of Kazan is a decent series that had the potential to be a great story.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong violence, fade to black sexual situations, and some language. Recommended for teens and adults who like fantasy.

If you like this book try: 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
7 Responses
  1. This was a series I was so eager to try when the first came out, but the reviews were mixed and now that the last book is disappointing, I am going to past. That is so frustrating.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Such a bummer Rummanah! I always have trouble with books that are episodic and bounce from one thread to the next. I don't mind going off on a tangent now and then, but I like there to be a central focus that I can really sink my teeth into. Shame. Lovely review though!

  3. Oh no! I just need to read this book to finish the series - I haven't loved the previous two books by any means and have to agree with your thoughts on Kerrick - so it's disappointing that you didn't enjoy this one very much, Rummanah. I'll probably read this eventually just because I'd like to know what happens at the end but am in no rush to find out.

  4. Candace Says:

    When I saw that you said this was a disappointment I decided not to read your review. I still need to read it and don't want to have anything in my mind about it. However, that makes me sad that it was disappointing and my expectations won't be as high.

  5. You really have been disappointed with the end of a series this year. I hope it can only go up from here. But you have got to find some books that you enjoy reading!!

  6. I did like this a bit more than you did, but didn't love it like I hoped I would. I hated Kerrick in the first book, but he sort of redeemed himself in the second (okay, more like treated her so much better and she forgave him so...). This wasn't my fave trilogy, but I would try more of this authors writing.

  7. Small Review Says:

    I'm sorry to hear this was such a disappointment. What is it with series enders this year? I was too disappointed with the second book to try the third, but I was still holding out hope it would be worth picking up. I wonder why they decided to go with an episodic approach and a new villain. Those choices seem so discordant with the rest of the series.

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