Thursday, December 20, 2012
Scent of Magic
Harlequin MIRA, 2012
Adult Fantasy Romance
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Spoilers for first book!
I adored the first book in this series, Touch of Power, last year, speeding breathlessly through every little scene. So yes I was excited for this second book...except I remembered how much I loved Poison Study while being disappointed with its follow-up. What if the same thing happened here?
I'll admit that at first I was a little listless and picking this book up to read just a chapter or two. It was certainly not as gripping as the first book...but after maybe about halfway through, I was hooked again and racing through to the cliffhanger ending!
When we pick up this book, pretty much everyone thinks Avry is dead, a situation she decides to take advantage of by disguising herself and ingratiating herself with Estrid's army to see what they're facing against Tohon. Her lover Kerrick is against this plan but accepts her decision to do this while he returns to Prince Ryne. This time the book mostly focuses on Avry with every one of her chapters being followed by a few pages detailing Kerrick's adventures.
As a big fan of their romance, I was disappointed that Avry and Kerrick spent most of the book apart. Another sadness was the lack of favorite characters from the first book-they're all mentioned and they're on Avry's mind but she's busy meeting a lot of new people, who I fortunately found to be charming additions. I really loved Avry being undercover, attempting to avoid drawing attention to her unique healer powers but still driven by compassion in addition to her cunning. At this point, I think I might like Avry more than Yelena (maybe).
As for Kerrick's story, I was surprised by how much I ended up liking it. For those who have read, his scenes with Danny up north were killer. I loved the short glimpses we got of Danny growing and learning about what his future might be like.
Cover: Just now as I was typing did I realize that Kerrick was on the cover. Before I had only seen thumbnails, I guess, and focused on Avry with her yellow pouch (I assume it holds the seeds, which makes much more sense than my original conception of them as being the size of huge pumpkins and wondering about their portability.)