I very much enjoyed Snyder’s Soulfinder series – and the first book in The Healer series, Touch of Power, was a strong start. Would I enjoy this second book?
Hunted, Killed—Survived? As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
The book pretty much takes up where Touch of Power finishes – so hits the ground running. It is a dual narrative with Avry’s story in first person viewpoint (I) and Kerrick’s plot in third person pov (he). The risk with this structure is that the reader gets more involved with one character and skims the other storyline. Though Avry’s voice is stronger and more immediate, I still enjoyed Kerrick’s story as I like his grumpiness and the fact that he doesn’t come across as the lantern-jawed hero.
Meanwhile, Avry is every bit the feisty heroine of the first book – in fact if I do have a grizzle with this book, there are times when I think she verges on the edge of being a Mary Sue. However there are enough threats going on and the story rackets along at sufficient pace that Snyder avoids that trap – just. The second book in a trilogy is often the one that suffers – it lacks the punch and originality of the first book, while also not completely tying up the storyline satisfactorily. Therefore it needs to progress the action and provide character development with plenty of adventure, providing plenty of enjoyment so that by the end the reader is determined to get hold of the third instalment.
So will I be looking out for Taste of Darkness? Oh yes. I like the world and am intrigued by the backstory. I also am interested to see how Snyder sorts out the details regarding her magic system – and what the deal actually is between the Peace Lily and Death Lily. In the meantime, while I found this an enjoyable read, I do recommend that you read Touch of Power first. Snyder is too deft to have you totally adrift in her world during this second slice in her Healer series, but you certainly will get more out of the experience if you are already acquainted with the main characters and their story arc.