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 rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and Netgalley.)
This is the second book in the ‘Healer’ series, and kicks off where book 1 ‘Touch of Power’ left off.
**Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Touch of Power’**
Following her healing by the peace lily, Avry decides that the best thing for her to do is to allow her enemies to believe her dead, so that she may work under cover. Leaving Kerrick, even though they have only just admitted their feelings for one another, Avry travels back to ‘Mom’ (who we met in the first book) who helps her with a disguise. Avry then infiltrates the army, and begins teaching them Kerrick’s tricks for moving through the forest unheard.
Avry’s plan is to not only aid the army against Tohon’s army (and zombies – which they don’t believe her about), but also to try and reconnect with her sister Noelle (who tried to kill her in book 1 – slightly nuts).
Kerrick on the other hand travels home (I think?) to give people the news that Avry is dead and rally his own army, but gets ambushed by some large zombie ufas on the way and then gets jumped by the person leading the ufas – Cellina, but she lets him go and lies to the king that the ufas killed him (not sure why she does this).
Now Avry is intent on stopping Tohon’s zombies, and figuring out exactly what he has been doing with the death lilies. But how long will her disguise fool people for? How will Avry react to the news that Kerrick is dead? And will they triumph against Tohon’s armies?
This book confused the hell out of me, and the last two lines were an absolute killer!
I really liked the first book in this series, I often have problems keeping up with the storyline in fantasy novels, but I didn’t really get that with the first book. It seems that all the confusion was being stored up for this book though! It’s not even that long since I read the first book, it’s only about 5 weeks, and I still got confused!
Avry basically wants people to think that she’s dead so that they’re not looking for her and trying to kill her – good plan if you ask me. What I didn’t really get was why she was so intent on making up with her sister when the last time she saw her she tried to kill her! I mean, why not just leave well alone? Especially when you’re trying to not get killed, and the woman your sister works for is also trying to kill you!
Anyway, Avry can’t possibly just go into hiding or something, so instead she finds the army, talks her way in, and then begins training them to walk quietly. I sort-of understood that part, but Kerrick’s journey? Not a clue I’m afraid. He got attacked by some zombie ufas, and the girl controlling them (Cellina) took his sword and told king Tohon that the ufas had killed him. What happened to him after this? I don’t know, I got seriously confused. Why did Cellina cover for him? Not sure on that one either. Who were the other people he ended up running into and helping? Not a clue.
Anyway, there were parts that I understood and liked! I kinda liked the way King Tohon managed to turn Avry on just by touching her, I liked how once again the lilies and their venom was a key part of the story, and I liked how Avry and Kerrick eventually found their way back to each other.
The storyline overall was a bit bland though, and in my opinion this book had a serious case of middle book syndrome, it seems that even Avry can’t cure that. The ending though? Oh my! This bland, confusing story hit us with one hell of an ending. Ms Snyder – those final 2 sentences made me want to scream!!! ‘No!’ How can you do that?! To Avry and to us?!
Let’s just say that those final 2 lines had more impact on me than the entirety of the second book, and now I might have to read book 3!
Overall; a fantasy story that was unfortunately a little bland and difficult to get through, with a major cliff-hanger at the end.
6 out of 10.