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Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
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Scent of Magic (edition 2012)

by Maria V. Snyder

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2193353,142 (3.77)4
Member:ktu35114
Title:Scent of Magic
Authors:Maria V. Snyder
Info:Harlequin MIRA (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, NetGalley, The Reading Room

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Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Hm. I never know how I feel after finishing one of Ms. Snyder's books. I think this was more of a 3-3.5 for me, but it took me longer to finish than usual, so I can't remember for sure. And I appreciated the ending more than the beginning. Also, it was better than average for a middle-of-a-trilogy book. Moving on...

Cons: I found myself bored frequently. The caught-bide time-escape cycle for all characters was super worn out in the first book, so as soon as someone fell into enemy hands I was skimming to get to the interesting part where they escape. Other things, like Avry's musings and misery and random thoughts I was also eager to skim through. They all just felt very surface, despite the attempt at depth.

Tohon was still calling Avry "my dear" like some cheesy 45 year old villain- Jafar comes to mind. At least it suited him. This just makes no sense to me. I realize we've got a semi-medieval thing going on here in these fantasy realms, but still. It just does not suit him and breaks character for me. "My Lady" would have been a slight improvement.

Noelle's death. On one hand, I'm impressed that Ms. Snyder had the nerve to finish her. On the other hand, why? I just don't see the point. (perhaps only in my humble opinion, but) This book is not a serious forray into death, dying, loss and war. It's a fairly light fantasy read where characters easily flop back and forth from serious to humorous without missing a beat. It's not going to go down in history as a classic or win any awards. But you can usually count on books of this kind to safely deliver a few key characters at the end. I feel a little betrayed. I'd have been okay with any other character (save Avry and Kerrick of course- I think that goes without saying). Even Danny. Just don't touch Noelle. Argh. Her demise felt rushed and incomplete and just senseless. If Ms. Snyder somehow pulled the wool over my eyes and Noelle somehow makes it back in the third book (though I'd say a burial is pretty solid) I'd be very impressed. and relieved.

Pros:

I thought the tribe sidestory was very interesting- though it felt like a stolen base history of Native American tribes here (the whole twisted histories and "you came like a few snowflakes and then like an avalanche).

Some tried and true characters still remain interesting to me. Many in fact. I just like that they're flawed. And the more flawed they are, the more I like them and want to know and understand them. It makes them more -real- which is a concept sorely lacking far too often. Jael is my favorite right now.

I liked Avry's attitude toward Tohon at the end during the confrontation. I was surprised at her advising Tohon to spare Cellina in order to use her. What if there had been no back up? What if Tohon took her advise. That seemed really half baked to me. BUT it was a really interesting exchange from all angles. And I liked that she kind of sided with Tohon. My favorite part, though, was her stating that he had always been straight with her. I respect that too and agreed with her feelings.

Speaking of which, I liked Kerricks musings to himself that Tohon might actually be the lesser of two evils and his belief that in Tohon's own twisted mind, he thought he was helping. I don't know if I'd go that far, but it was still a nice change of pace from the "pure evil" stance.

Things in general were not easily spelled out. I felt impatient and a little frustrated from time to time, but I believe that was intentional. Things- Ryne's ambush from inside, Flea's gift, the Death Lilys and Peace Lilys and their toxins and intents etc etc etc- were not obvious and many are still not satisfactorily explained. So much so that even though I never really bought into Avry and Kerricks romance and Avry's interactions with others in general tend to annoy me (mothering Flea? come. on) the story itself of the plague, healers, tribes, realms and war are enough to keep me invested in the story. That says a lot, because 99% of the time, my love or hatred of a book rests solely with the characters. I guess there is a first for everything! ( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
Like Touch of Power, this book clearly exhibited the superb writing I’ve come to expect from Maria V. Snyder. Even better, she completely fixed the pacing issue I had with the first one. Instead of dragging at the beginning, this book started off fast. The author kept the tension and excitement high with the introduction of a second viewpoint. Strategic chapter breaks kept me constantly wondering what would happen next. The world building of the last book was expanded on in new and clever ways, always staying internally consistent. I was more engaged in this book than the previous one and loved every minute of it.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
NOTE: I received an e-copy of the book from Netgalley and physical ARC by MIRA INK. Thanks!

A fantastic sequel to A Touch of Power! Maria V. Snyder has a wonderful way with words that captures the reader's mind and doesn't let go.

Same awesome characters sharing the same brilliant story met me from page one and held my attention until the very end. Scent of Magic was even better than Touch of Power, with such breathtaking cliffhanger, with memorable battles, opening unthought of possibilities.

Ever since Kerrick and Avry parted ways, the story became even more complicated. Not only did they have to deal with their separate assignments, but they also had to somehow deal with the fact that they won't be together for the time being. There was of course, the possibility that one or both of them won't make it to meet again.

And while I (as a reader) was well aware that both characters were more or less in a good condition (though not always safe), they themselves didn't know that of each other. Which lead to pain and emotional torment on both their sides. I couldn't help but feel pity for them. If they'd only had cell phones!

Anyway.

Meanwhile, our evil genius, Tohen is in the midst of his preparations for a vicious war. He's gaining power, both with the living and the dead and he's got more than one card up his sleeve. Especially the card counting on people's disbelief in the 'impossible'. Because seriously - walking corpses? That's impossible, right?

Prince Rhyne (I'm not sure if this is how his name was spelled..) has some ruses and cards of his own too. Thanks to Avry, her quick mind and the powers of the Death and Life Lilies, the chances seem to turn. But will there be enough time and volunteers to help out against the army undead soldiers, whom no one has even seen? Will the traitor be finally revealed? Will Kerrick and Avry finally have a chance to be together? And whose fault will the plague turn out to be?

Well, if you want to know the answers, you're going to have to read the book for yourself! Enjoy! ( )
  VanyaDrum | Jan 26, 2014 |
*spoilers*
I didn't like this book as much as the first. I didn't like all the dying and coming back to life and then dying then coming back to life again. Also you get attached to some of the characters in the first book and they are hardly in this book. One thing that worked great in the first book was the relationship and banter between Avry and Kerrick, and since they were separated it wasn't there. ( )
  Ahnya | Jan 25, 2014 |
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
Purchases made support this blog
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.

Strengths:
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!
Weaknesses:
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.
Summary:
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.

3 Stars ( )
  anyaejo | Jan 7, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maria V. Snyderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zackman, GabraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Coming out of hiding to find her sister and repair their estrangement, and to stop King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry of Kazan, the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, must support Tohon's opponents by teaching them forest skills and destroying an army of the walking dead.… (more)

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