Mundie Moms

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder, Book Review

By: Maria V Snyder
Published by: Harlequin / Mira
Released on: 12/31/13
Series: Healer #3
Source: ebook from publisher to review
Ratings: 3 Stars - It's A Good Read
Purchase it from: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

I am a huge Maria Snyder fan. Back in the day when I was first getting into reading, her Poison Study series was one I completely fell in love with, and after that I've read every one of her books. While the Study series in my favorite, I have really enjoyed this series. I loved the first two books in the Healer series, Touch of Power & Scent of Magic. I've really looked forward to reading the exciting conclusion of the series with Taste of Darkness. While it was a good read, I felt like things that I loved about the first two books were missing from it.

I love the characters. The bound and loyalty they all have with one another is something I have loved about this series. No matter their differences, they are all there for each other, and will do anything for one another. Each character has played such an important role through out the series. I love that Maria's character aren't just in the story for the sake of being there. They're all there for a reason. Normally it's easy to pick a favorite, but in this case it's hard as I've loved getting to know each of them.

One of the things I missed about this book, and the group was what I have loved about them through out the series. Seeing them together, and that bound. I think part of why it was missing in this storyline was due to the severity of the war that is going on. Maria allows us to see how the war effects each character. Some of the characters have a change in their role, and other's are learning to control new powers. Like Kerrick for example. Maria did a fabulous job at showing me how Kerrick's new power really effects him. That was brilliant. 

Avry is a character I've loved through out the series, but this time around I had my biggest issues with her. Some of the things she does in this book felt out of character for her. Yes she still risks her life in order to save others, but when she risks her friends lives to find Kerrick, it didn't fit who she was. Not that I blame her for looking for him herself, but Avry isn't one to put someone else's life ahead of her, especially given the fact she's a healer, and time and time again she puts her life second to saving someone else. The same could be said about Kerrick. In his quest to find Avry, he too puts a lot of people at risk, something that up to this point is out of character for Kerrick. Given they're in the middle of a war, both Kerrick and Avry's abilities are key in their quest for winning.

The over all storyline is great! Through out the series the group has been on a mission to win the war and over throw Tohon. While this is still their focus, their mission for this book is also about saving each other. Things got horrifying when they go to save Avry. Maria's always done a great job of not shying away from some of the horrifying things that happen with war. She can make me cheer on her characters, swoon over her romance, and then chill me to the bone with her evil characters. I do mean evil. Though Tohon takes the cake on being a brilliantly evil guy, the Skeleton King is just plain horrifyingly creepy. Don't get me wrong, he's evil too. I was a little confused on why the characters would turn so much of their attention on him vs Tohon. Sure the Skeleton King does some incredibly horrifying things, but Tohon is someone you'd want to run from at the mere mention of his name. Speaking of Tohon, I loved that Avry finally figured out how she could bring him down, and it was awesome watching her not be so fearful of him, and using that to her advantage.

Maria has a talent for creating rich worlds, and vivid descriptions of her enticing settings. From the sites, sounds, smells, and the detailed descriptions of all that makes up Avry & Kerrick's world, Maria makes me feel as though I'm there with the characters. This time around I felt that some of that description was missing. However, there is a lot more action in this book, and a lot more strategy then in the previous books. With the war in full swing, a lot of story is focused on those two elements, as they are key in winning this war. Being that this is the conclusion of the Healer series, I am torn on this book. There were things I missed that the previous two books had, and there are things I liked about this book. While it's not my favorite of the series, I still enjoyed it. I can not wait to for Maria's next book and jumping back into the Poison Study world/series!

Don't miss my interview with Maria & enter to win a copy of Taste of Darkness HERE.