Review: Taste of Darkness, Maria V Snyder

December 30, 2013 Reviews 3 ★★★½

Review: Taste of Darkness, Maria V SnyderTaste of Darkness by Maria V Snyder
Series: Healer #3
Published by HarlequinTEEN on January 2014
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 458
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

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.


Please note: This review is for the third and final installment in the Healer series and so contains spoilers for the first two books. You may prefer to read my reviews of Touch of Power and Scent of Magic (both on my old blog) instead.

After having enjoyed Scent of Magic rather more than the first book in the series, I was really looking forward to Taste of Darkness for an epic conclusion to this tale. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by a rather lack-lustre storyline and an abrupt ending.

This book should have been called Taste of Rescue. The whole story is more or less a series of adventures, travelling around the realms rescuing various people from various enemies. In-between each rescue are snippets of Avry caring for the sick and injured, or strategy meetings with Prince Ryne (which go mostly ignored anyway). The pace is not particularly fast, although the action scenes are well-written.

The one redeeming feature of this story is still the characters. Each of them has their passionate reason for being loyal to the cause (or not), and their interactions are pretty funny a lot of the time. Avry and Kerrick’s relationship very sweet, even if Kerrick does seem to do a lot of leering in this one. There’s quite a few fade-to-black sexy times as well, which is a bit unusual in a YA book (but by no means bad!). The supporting cast is up to its usual shenanigans, with the Monkeys and Flea taking the spotlight most of the time.

I really was disappointed by the ending – by the 90% mark I was starting to think there was going to be another cliffhanger and a fourth book, since there was no real sign of climax building. I would have liked a bit more closure to this series than what we ended up with. Several characters were left with unfinished tales, although I suppose that leaves things open for a further series.

Overall, I enjoyed this series for the character interactions, plus the complex and fascinating magic system and flora. The occasionally drawn-out strategy discussions and unpolished ending may turn some readers off, though.

three-half-stars – Despite the fantastic characters, a disappointing ending to an otherwise interesting series.

The Healer Trilogy

Touch of Power Scent of Magic
US cover

US cover


Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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