Scent of Magic
Maria V. Snyder
Mira, Dec 18 2012, $14.95
Everyone believes that the last known healer Avry of Kazan is dead after saving the life of King Tohon’s strongest adversary Prince Ryne from the plague that devastated the Fifteen Realms (see Touch of Power). However, she and Kerrick of Alga, who saved her life when her villagers decided to execute her, go on separate missions though both share the BHAG of preventing evil Tohon from ruling in terror over the Fifteen Realms.
In disguise as she knows there are plenty of people who want her dead starting with General Jael, Avry joins the forces of Tohon’s enemy High Priestess Estrid as a troop instructor in silent movements; unaware that Tohon has created new invincible soldiers who are already dead. She also plans to reconcile with her sister who is on Jael’s staff.
Prince Ryne sends Kerrick to the wilds north of Alga to investigate whether the barbarians are invading his realm as rumored. A pact signing with Tohon by his brother leaves a stunned Kerrick left with too small a force to repel the invading northerners; let alone protect his Alga Realm from the duplicitous ruler.
The second Healer fantasy is a strong thriller with plenty of military and political intrigue. The Snyder Realm feels real partly because the romance between Avry and Kerrick remains muted as the focus is on the seemingly upcoming war; for the most part they are apart. The storyline is fast-paced switching subplots (and locals) at times to abruptly, but fans will relish the further adventures of Kerrick and Avry as they battle the malevolent minion of Tohon the terrible.