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 and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.
My Review :
I am a huge fan of Maria's work and when I got hold of this ARC I couldn't wait to start it. However I kept myself in check and got through a few other to be read books before rushing to this one. However when I started it I realised I should have found time to re-read the first book, Touch of Power, before diving back into the world I haven't been to for a year. I was completely lost.
After a few chapters I started to warm back up to the world and the main characters but I still couldn't place all the other characters. It was hard, especially as they had all split up and were going their own way. In the previous book everyone stuck together and it was easy to know who was who. This time around I admit I felt a little out of my depth.
By the halfway mark I had to take a break. Not because the story was bad but because the Kindle ARC I received had no chapters and no breaks in the text. So I was reading along and finding I was suddenly back to Avry's perspective when I had just been following Kerrick's and vice versa. It was very annoying and it meant I often had to stop and go back to read places (where I can only assume were chapters or breaks in the story) again.
However when I went back to the book I was in the loop and extremely hooked. The last half flew by and before I knew it I had come to that horrible ending. Yes I will call it horrible and Maria, once again, deserves to be boo'ed at for the way she insists on leaving us with such nasty endings. Although I have to also give her credit for the amazing way she ends her books, making me sure to come back for more.
All in all this was once again a super Snyder book. I love the characters and the concept which is developing quite nicely. There should be some really interesting events to come in book three and even though this second part wasn't as good as the first it was still well worth reading.
If you haven't already read any of Maria's work then I highly recommend you do. Even if it doesn't sound like something you would like you need to start with the Study series. I didn't think I would like it but I loved it and it will always be one of my favourite reads.