Maria V. Snyder strikes again. Author of such series like the Study series, Glass series and the Insider series, Maria does it again with her Healer series. Scent of Magic is the second book in the Healer series. Avry, the main character is introduced in the first book, Touch of Power. In the first book Avry is described as a young woman with healing powers, unfortunately thanks to the plague and the actions that the Healer’s Guild refused to take during the plague as warranted outcast standing for all healers that remain. Even more unfortunate is the decree sent out by King Tohon, of one of the 15 realms, where he places a bounty on healers dead or alive. After being on the run for 3 years Avry is rescued by Kerrick, who is looking for a healer for his friend Prince Ryne. After many adventures, setbacks and discoveries Avry, Kerrick and his group of men accomplish the impossible.
Scent of Magic, picks up right where the first book ended. Avry and Kerrick decide to separate, even after they have figured out their feelings. Avry, now presumed dead after helping Prince Ryne wants to figure out Tohon’s dead soldiers. She needs to see the link between the death lilies and his touch. Kerrick needs to find Ryne and the others to deliver the news of Avry’s “death.” What everyone now has to focus on is Tohon and his conquering of the other realms. He is too strong for Ryne to defeat and other realms have fallen to him or have signed over their land and people in order for “peace.” Avry goes into Estrid’s army in disguise and proves to be a great teacher, since she can’t heal. She teaches the soldiers Kerrick’s techniques in moving silently in the woods. She also tries to explain about the dead soldiers but no one believes her and she and Prince Ryne must discover a way of defeating this squadron of the dead.
What really stood out in this book from all of the others, including other series by Synder is that fact that both Kerrick and Avry’s point of view was displayed. I had an arc so was not sure if it alternated every other chapter or just jumped from one side to the other. This lead to more action and more storytelling, as the story doesn’t take place with just one of the characters. Not once did I think, this book would be better without all of its content. The characters remain sturdy and loveable/hate able, depending on the character. New revelations on the connection between the death lilies, the peace lilies and mages are brought to light and while there is blood and carnage there are some surprising twists and reappearances of former characters from the first book.
To add to that this book is also full of deceit, witty humor, sarcasm, gross implications and forgiveness. I generally love most of Synder’s books, with the small exception of the Glass series, but this series by far has the surprising situations that characters like Yelena and Valek got into, but with more “umpf”. I don’t know how to describe it but it is almost as if this is a final draft of the story that helped the Study series take off… which in simple terms it’s BETTER!!