Book Review: Scent of Magic
By: Maria V. Snyder
Published By: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult/Adult - Fantasy
I do love a Maria V. Snyder book. There’s something so very cool about how she writes ensemble characters; they all have separate voices no matter how many/few lines they get and I am always left dying to hang out with the gang when I’m done reading. Scent of Magic was no exception to that rule, and I’m pleased to say it followed Touch of Power really well.
At the end of Touch of Power, Avry had survived the impossible and came out with a lot of questions about the Death and Peace Lilys... much of the mystery in Scent of Magic comes from those bizarre plants, and happily a number of answers too. I liked how they were woven into the storyline about the evil King Tohon’s relentless bid for world domination, and how Avry was able to actually communicate with the odd one while trying to save the world. Tohon’s horrific army of the dead still give me the creeps, and I just loved how inventive he was in using them and also protecting them... the extent of his evil genius knows few bounds! He is truly a villain that I can get behind loathing, and I am very curious to see how his story arc will continue in Taste of Death next year.
What I really enjoy about these books is Avry’s point of view; she doesn’t know it all, but she is determined and resourceful enough to try and find out. She is kind, patient and also brave – characteristics that make her a great heroine. Little touches continue to win me over onto her team; in particular I loved the moment where she proves herself to a squad of surly soldiers by nailing one of them in the belt with a throwing dagger. This girl kicks butt!
I was equally interested in reading the chapters from Kerrick’s point of view – this was a new development in the narration and I enjoyed being able to follow what he was up to when he and Avry were apart, which to be honest, was for a lot of the book. That was one of the main drawbacks for me in the Study series by Maria, because she would send Valek off on missions and I wouldn’t see him for weeks! This time around, I was able to travel with Kerrick and see a little more about him, and his home life... his valour and general “man of worth” characteristics. He had an interesting character arc, and I think that it has really set up Taste of Death to be a great end to the trilogy.
All in all, I was very pleased with Scent of Magic, and I think it is a great second book in the trilogy. It is to Touch of Power as Magic Study was to Poison Study. A great read and fans of Maria’s will be very happy with it!
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.