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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
Avry is desperate because Kerrick has gone missing after he is poisoned by Death Lily toxin. Even though she is the only one who still thinks he is alive after searching for weeks, she has to focus on her patients as a new type of plague seems to be arising. With people developing new powers, Avry wanting to fulfil her promise to mom and look after her patients, and enemies surrounding them, including the disturbing Skeleton King, will Avry and her friends be able to survive and find peace?

Taste of Darkness is the brilliant third and final book in the Healer series and is darker than the previous books. This book has lots of twists and turns, which at some points was a bit confusing, with action, romance and an edge of your seat story. However, one criticism of this book, and the rest of the series, is that is that no one stays dead, so after the third time of hearing that someone has died, you tend not to believe it.

Avry is the same as the last books as she is caring strong and selfless, but she does not want to be anyone's puppet anymore, even Ryne's, and wants to do what she thinks is right. Kerrick is weaker and more jealous than in the previous books but is still a good hero of this book and whilst Avry and Kerrick are together more than the last book (Thank the Flea!) I wish they were not apart as much as they were.

I love the secondary characters especially the Monkeys and Flea, and I feel they really make this book. Also the enemies are brilliant in this book, even though there feels like there are too many, and we get to meet the creepy and spine-chilling Skeleton King, who makes Tohon seem like a normal person.

I would love to see more books based in this world and I would recommend Taste of Darkness and the Healer series to fans of Maria V Snyder's other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2014
Firstly, what does the author get right. World building is excellent and the main characters are fully developed and make you care. The bad guys - pretty darn awesome - in particular the dead, the dead ufas.
What does the author get wrong? The continual insistence that her books be written as a trilogy for a start. If she cut out all the ultimately go no-where stuff about the northern tribes, and the red herring Skeleton King character and moved Melina's rescue to the second book we would have had a tight interesting read over two books.
Instead we get this third book - or what should have been titled "The Presumed Dead Club"
This book has a lot of action that goes no where fast. Main characters are killed off in a line, whole story lines are resolved in a paragraph.
The annoying continual recycled storyline of a major character 'supposedly' being dead, only to pop back up days, weeks, months later... Avry (multiple times), Kerrick (too often to count), Flea (back from the dead?), the monkeys, Belen etc etc
All tension is ultimately drained from the story - if no character ever dies - what are the stakes? Okay so Noelle perished in book two but she was only a paper thin plot device to get Avry where the author needed her to be.
And the happy sappy ending - just felt wrong and crammed in (along with the other go no where tedious additions - just to get this book to a respectable length to publish) Why not concentrate on the dead, or the peace/death lilys?
Advice to author, editor and publisher - learn from this book (and the horrific 3rd in the glass series) longer is not better, a trilogy unless well plotted to the last page will only turn the reading public off investing in this author in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
This is the third novel in the Avry of Kazan series, and I had really high hopes for it. I loved the first instalment, wasn't so impressed with the second, so really wanted the third and final part to resolve all outstanding issues. I thought I was bound to love it. Sorry to say, not so much.

The problem here for me was several things. Firstly I got really bored of the endless strategics regarding army manoeuvres. I couldn't have cared less where each regiment was, and frankly could not invest in endless deliberation about where Cellina, or Estrid or Tohon was.
I got really fed with the infirmary as well. I wanted Avry to go out and do something, her endless hand wringing and seemingly romantic encounters with Kerrick were tedious, and far from loves young dream.
I really felt like the Monkeys were a side show and thrown in as an attempt at side humour. Their interactions felt forced and I didn't enjoy it, the way I had previously.

I thought the visit to the monastery was interesting and I did seriously feel for the ladies trapped there. The resolution to that story seemed to happen very fast, as did the substory regarding Kerrick happening upon the Skeleton King and his cannibal army antics.

Overall I just found myself skim reading to find out what happened to Avry and her comrades. It wasn't exactly a surprise regarding who lived and who died. The sub plot and back stories regarding the Lillies were interesting, and I would have actually been more interested if the story had focussed on this area.

This is a perfectly accessible story, but I would not recommend to anyone who hasn't read the first two novels in this series, as it was difficult enough for me to follow having read them. The peripheral characters were not fleshed out enough, and so to understand the relationships between Avry and everyone else, you would definitely have to go back and read the stories previous to this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
I really enjoyed Ms Snyder's "Study" series - and while subsequent books have been set in different worlds - they've all had a comforting similarity. Despite the difficult issues the books have tackled, they all have a sort of "coziness" about them that I enjoy.

The Avry of Kazan series is no exception and I have been eagerly awaiting this, the final book in the trilogy.

Problem #1: The characters in this book (all of a sudden) start using modern American slang. Examples: One character asks another, "Think much?" and another insists, "I'll just deal". This is not how the characters spoke in previous novels and it's extremely annoying in a fantasy novel. I don't want to hear Aragon call Arwen a hottie. Yuk.

Problem #2: Too many villains. Tohon, Estrid. Jael, Sepp, Wynn - we've got enough already. I don't want to give too much away but another (particularly loathsome) bad guy is introduced, steals all the thunder and muddies the plot. I got the feeling he wasn't in the original plan, he felt a bit of a DEM.

The Good Stuff: Ryne remains slippery - he's never all nobility - most of our merry band get their HEAs and we find out just what exactly happens to the good-time-girls who get nabbed by the purity squad.

The ending was a bit sickly for my taste (and I like a HEA!) with one of the realms getting a new (and OTT) name.

I'll try the next series but can't help but feel a bit disappointed in how this one wrapped up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 February 2014
The third book in this series is as fabulous as the previous two. Avry faces new dangers, betrayals and enemies as she continues on her quest to halt Tohon's plan to rule all the fifteen realms. There remains plenty of magic and romance as she and Kerrick are instrumental in the continuing war. Kerrick has his own obstacles to face, as his survival from death changes him. He, Avry and their close friends who have appeared throughout this series, each play pivotal roles and endure personal heartbreaks as they try to protect each other.

Just when you thought that perhaps this group of heroes could have a brief reprieve following the events in book 2, an even nastier enemy and his approaching army is introduced. Avry is wanted by just about everyone; to be used for her Healer abilities, for leverage against her allies and considered a trophy of war, she's had enough and is determined to stop her enemies at any cost. But with a new plague making an appearance, Avry has to rely on those she'd rather keep safe and as far away from danger as possible.

This fantasy romance is a real winner, with plenty of action, treachery and good old fashioned romance. Kerrick and Avry may not have had the best start to their romance, yet their bond strengthens despite their forced separations. Although there is a conclusive end to the story, I hope that this doesn't mean the end to Avry's world. Her plans for the future would certainly prove to be an interesting read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2014
A fitting end to a fantastic trilogy. Loved every character. A satisfying read. Ms Synder has done it again. Bravo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2014
I really enjoyed the first in the series and quite enjoyed the second. I did however struggle with this one. How many times do we have to think someone is dead only for them not to be. I also got fed up of Kerrick and Avry- it was always the same scenario when they met up again (after one thought the other was dead or they get separated yet again ) and when the weren't together they were consumed with worry about the other. Don't really understand why the skeleton king was brought into the story as didn't play a big part - only for someone else to try and capture Avry and there were a lot of different parties trying to do that. The book pretty much revolves around different groups of people trying to kill/capture Avry and I didn't care whether they were north, south, east or west. It probably didn't help that I had just finished a fantastic read by Brandon Sanderson before starting this and it just showed the lack of imagination and depth of writing in Taste of Darkness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2014
A good set of books each one leaving you wanting the next installment and the final book was the best full of twists and turns.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2014
This serious has to be one of my favourites, would recommend to Anyone. Wish it continued. Maria v Snyder is a genius
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2014
Without giving anything away, this is exactly what you want from the finale of the trilogy. Leaves the possibility of future books either set in the same universe or using some of the same characters too - those that survive this book that is.
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