Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: April 10th, 2012 (originally December 20th, 2011)
Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 400 (Paperback)
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Adventure
Series: Avry Of Kazan/ The Healer #1
Read: from August 1 to 5, 2012
Source & Shelf: Purchase | Own
THEY DESTROYED HER WORLD. BUT SHE’S THEIR ONLY HOPE...
Avry’s power to heal the sick should earn her respect in the plague-torn land of Kazan. Instead she is feared. Her kind are blamed for the horrifying disease that has taken hold of the nation. When Avry uses her forbidden magic to save a dying child, she faces the guillotine. Until a dark, mysterious man rescues her from her prison cell. His people need Avry’s magic to save their dying prince. The very prince who first unleashed the plague on Kazan.
Saving the prince is certain to kill Avry – yet she already faces a violent death. Now she must choose – use her healing touch to show the ultimate mercy or die a martyr to a lost cause?
*This review might contain spoilers*
This book had so many great reviews around it my expectations were slightly higher than usual. The moment I first saw the cover and book trailer and then read the plot plus the reviews, I knew I had to get my hands on this book quite fast.
And, being honest, I have to thank Dani from Pen to Paper to made up my mind as whether to buy this book now or wait a little bit more of time.
This book starts off with action… there’s no flourishing at the beginning. Maria V. Snyder starts the book with a huge bang! and the actions unfolds right before our eyes.
Avry doesn’t introduces herself straight away with “Hello, this is Avry the last healer in the Fifteen Realms and this is what happened!“. No, you discover the story as the novel flows. And it was so well-constructed you just couldn’t put the book down. You had to keep reading in order to know what was going to happen next. If the main plot was already interesting, the deeper you get, the more overwhelmed you get. Each chapter brings something new, a new adventure or a new discovery that makes you gasp in surprise.
The characters were so well developed, specially Avry, a true hero. She isn’t a damsel in distress. She has been alone for a couple of years since the plague almost destroyed the Fifteen Realms and she had to hide herself. As a Healer, her touch is power but she has to conceal it. The Healers were accused of having started the plague therefore, she has to hide and try really hard not to help sick people. Actually, the novel starts with it: Avry isn’t able to stop herself and heals a child. That almost kills her in the gallows.
She’s strong and her personality is simply amazing. She’s funny and sarcastic but really mature. She doesn’t think about herself and doesn’t mind dying in order to save innocent people. There’s always a hint about her you can relate yourself with, and, as her background story finds the surface, you can feel her sorrow and her pain. And having her sister betraying her and her family killed, does bring her down for a moment, but then she finds her path to help order. And she doesn’t give up.
Kerrick was a awesome character even if, at times, I just wanted to slap him when we first meet him. When Avry (and us) meet him at the beginning of the novel, he’s a bit rude and bossy… but then we finally see his true colours and in fact, that coldness is a shield. His past was harsh and he closes himself behind that initial mask because of everything that happened. When Avry finally breaks the “heartless” Kerrick, he’s just a wonderful prince. In fact, their relationship was the most interesting thing about them two. It wasn’t forced, love at first sight. Instead of being a rather shallow relationship in which both try their hard not to fall in love but are immediately in love, their “romance” came as believable and unforced. It was realistic and expected.
Tohon’s character was, for me, a bit too much. But he managed to scare the hell out of me with those zombies. I felt Avry fright in my bones, so you can see how true Avry was and how scary those things were. He was too manipulative and too narrow, simply horrible. And I wished he was beheaded right at the end… well, I guess I’ll have to deal more with him in the next book.
I have to be utter honest, my favourite character wasn’t Kerrick as I thought it would be. To my surprise, I found myself loving Belen. His character was so warm and had such a great heart. He’s like a older brother and if Maria V. Snyder had killed him, I would be really upset.
I have to thank Dani, once again, for recommending this book to her followers. It was such an amazing book it will be hard for me not to buy the second one as soon as it comes out.
So, if you haven’t read this book yet, go and pick it up as soon as possible ’cause Scent of Magic is coming out this December.