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Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder Early Book Review – My captive wasn’t the most loquacious. I kept my stiletto pressed against his skin. “I found him lost in the woods.” I tsked. “Poor thing should know the forest is dangerous at night.” [SPF]

Title: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Author Info: Bio | Website | Facebook
Publication: Dec 18th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
“I’m dead,” I said to Kerrick.
Story Arc: Trilogy, Book 1
Paperback: 400 pages
Age Group: Teen, YA
Genre: High Fantasy
Excerpt(s): 15%
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Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avery 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, Avery 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, Avery 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 Avery is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.
Review: I read Touch of Power early this year, and that was, to quote myself, my first taste of Maria V. Snyder’s work and I basically fell in love. I always chuckle a little when I read some reviews written by old fans who didn’t like Touch of Power all that much because it seemed to have the opposite effect on me—I loved ToP and, while I liked the Poison Study series, ToP topped everything. If I had to pin down the main reason, it would have to be the characters in this new trilogy. They’re loyal, brazen, funny, and totally tight with each other. I missed that group sensation while reading Snyder’s first books. Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder instantly renewed my longing for one of my favorite groups of friends, and while this installment isn’t as mind-boggling as ToP, it’s still an adventurous book filled with danger, warfare, and a few soft moments slipped in for OBVS for my benefit. Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder carries that same brilliance and magical quality Snyder has a flair for, but I did a lot of missing of my favorite characters.

Now, don’t be too alarmed. It’s not as if you don’t see Belen, Quain, Loren, and Kerrick at all. But, it is difficult to enjoy this sequel as much as its predecessor without constant face time with each of them. Following the story’s happenings through Avry’s eyes is comfortable, and I never pulled back from cheering her on when she kicked butt. And, wonderful for me, she makes new friends on her solitary journey to aid where she can, and I loved the new additions. Even so, I hated the lengths of separations from the original gang, the constant anxiety and worry for her (and, therefore, our) friends. It drove me a bit to distraction. And while this gave Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder a darker tone, my enjoyment lessened which competed with my remaining awe toward Snyder's characteristically engrossing storytelling.

Make note, however, that this isn’t a case of the Sophomore Slump. I’d be wailing banshee-style and spewing curses across the Twitterverse otherwise, so fear not. My consistent fascination with Snyder’s scope and depth with the regard to how she illustrates her world never ceased. She seamlessly incorporates new enemies; natural threats that would’ve surfaced eventually even without the war brewing. And the war has started and the opening battle for control over the Fifteen Realms is a fierce one, painstakingly plotted and ruthlessly fought. Along those same threads, Snyder also incorporates some answers about the ancient magical presence in the Realms that piqued my curiosity in ToP, while still giving us plenty to mull over. Shoulder pats for you, Snyder, and lots of snaps, as the plot never lagged.

At this very moment, I’m totes agitated. I’m mentally rewinding to that moment I flipped to the last couple of pages. And I’m repeating The Life Ruiner—yes, LIFERUINER—over and over in my mind, sufficiently torturing the very small reserves of my sanity with infinite questions and horrible possibilities. I’m ticked, but in that nice anticipatory way that guarantees I’ll be reading the next book. Although, in Snyder’s case, it won’t be because of the deliberately planted lure for us to continue—Maria V. Snyder is just another one of those author geniuses I can’t get enough of.

Most Likely to Be Enjoyed By: Fantasy lovers will no doubt enjoy this series. Say what you will about the romance or the SLIGHT similarities between this book and Snyder’s Poison Study series, this series is crack, but the kind with depth and heart to it. If you like reading about a character who easily worms her way into the hearts of four grown men in possession of wicked fighting prowess and has such awesome friendship and love with each, and love to dig into particularly puzzling mysteries while thrilling over near-incessant warfare, then, I ask you, where do you go wrong when you make the decision to pick this series up?

Content Warning: There are a ton of gruesome mentions and scenes of violence, including killing, as there are a ton of skirmishes in the series. You can expect the beheading of people and animals. Oh yeah, and zombies. There is also some implicit sex and kissing. Keep in mind that this is a young adult/adult crossover series.

Blog Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
In the most inappropriate way you can imagine (or can't), PBP books are the books you want to tangle in the sheets with they're so bloody brilliant.

Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quotes/Scenes:

I turned to the group. “Who called me sweetheart?” No one moved. “What? Too chicken? Come on, reveal yourself.”
A soldier in the front row stepped forward with a challenging smirk. I crossed my arms and scrutinized him for a long moment while I wrapped my fingers around the handle of one of my throwing knives.
“You’re not my father or my lover,” I said, causing a ripple of snickers. Boys.
I pulled my knife and threw it at the center of his belt, hoping I put the right amount of heat behind it. I didn’t want to hurt him.
He yelped as the tip of the blade pierced the leather far enough to keep the weapon in place. Staring at me in shock, he opened his mouth, but snapped it shut when I walked up to him.
I gripped the handle of the knife. “If you call me sweetheart again—” I yanked it out. “—I’ll aim lower. Understand?”


  1. Touch of Power
  2. Poison Study 1-3
  3. Shadowfell
  4. Seraphina
  5. Throne of Glass
  6. Scarlet

Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know which series you're liking better, Poison Study vs. Touch of Power?


Alicia said...

I still like Poison Study better but I really do love this new series. I cannot wait to read Scent of Magic, but I have to wait until after exams or I will never get any work done.

I wasn't that fond of the dystopian books that Snyder put out before these, but she has completely redeemed herself with this latest fantasy series :).

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