[Advance Book Review] Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

(Healer #3)

Taste of Darkness (Healer, #3)This book starts off right where the last one left off. Which is good news if you remember who was dying on the last couple of pages of Touch of Power. 

We dive straight back into the world of the Fifteen Realms and the whole everyone-wants-to-kill Avry thing. And by “everyone,” I mean “four or so armies.” Avry’s beloved Kerrick is missing (again), Prince Rayne wants to use her as bait (again), she can’t stop dreaming about evil psychopath King Tohon, her sister is still missing, and the deadly plague is back.

Remember how I gave A Touch of Power, the first book in this series, an ecstatic, all-five canary rating? Then do you remember the three, somewhat apologetic canaries on my review for book two, Scent of Magic?

I loved the first book. The second left me lukewarm. And after a couple days sitting on my reader response to Taste of Darkness, I have finally figured out what went wrong with this third and final novel in the Healer trilogy.

Where the first book gave us a single plot and an impossible romantic subplot that somehow worked. Then the second book started splitting up the story into several plots. And here, the subplots have officially taken over, New Feline World Order style, taking Taste of Darkness away from that single-plot paradigm that made us fall in love with Avry to an epic fantasy set-up condensed into one tiny book. It’s a novel full of sidequests. And the characters are rewarded for those sidequests with unexpected video-game-level-convenient bounties that just happen to be what they need to solve their other problems.

But I kinda think that’s something that just happens when you leave six major villains to be taken down over the course of one, short book.  The buildup to each encounter just…isn’t satisfying enough. And then, many side quests later, the story ends with an anticlimactic final battle and final sacrifice. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it.

For those who love the second book in the series for flipping between being in Avry’s head half the time, and then following Kerrick around for the other half, good news! This book does it again. For all of us who thought it was annoying and distracting, bad news! This book does it again.

And this kinda carries over to the rest of the book, too. It’s a book for the fan – if you enjoyed books 1 and 2, you’ll appreciate the merry band getting together, the romance, Avry’s brave (if foolhardy) decisions that keep getting her in trouble, and, well, stuff.

And if you haven’t read any of these books, go back and check out A Touch of Power (Healer 1) by Maria V. Snyder because it is all sorts of fun.

Book for review provided by Harlequin MIRA.
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3 thoughts on “[Advance Book Review] Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

  1. Pingback: ARC Review: The Last Priestess | A World of Books

  2. I also have an ARC of this, about to start it tonight, I enjoyed the first two, not as good as the study series by the same author but still good. I am hoping I enjoy this more than you did.

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