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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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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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on 14 May 2014
I hate coming to the end of a series and the Avry of Kazan books caused a book hangover that lasted a week! There were a few repetitive missions where Avry and Kerrick had to part ways with a looming threat of never being reunited, but the Skeleton King certainly spiced things up! What a great (and creepy) bad guy! Perfect ending which leaves that happy, fuzzy feeling that all is well with the world (until you realise you have to actually start to interact with society again!) Pass me another book!
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on 20 February 2015
I loved the series and sped through all three books in about a week but on reflection this particular book was a `tiny` bit disappointing as it seemed to want to cram so many more storylines into the book that it didn't give the author time to fully explore and round out those characters.
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on 1 September 2014
I loved this trilogy, each book was very captivating and unlike other trilogies they could have almost been stand alone. (I hate when you get to the end of a book and it stops dead.) You are aware that the story of Avry and Kerrick is separated into three distinct sections and each time you are left despairing that everything is conspiring to keep them apart. This book was by far my most favourite as it was fast paced and answered the questions raised throughout all three such as who started the plague and how they found a cure. The additional characters worked well into the story too and you found yourself worrying for their safety. I'd love to see this story going forward with Danny and the Northern tribes. Well done to the author what a great read.
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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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on 18 December 2014
Really enjoyed it, though it did feel rushed in some places. Would have been brilliant seeing some of the side stories, unwind further over time. Some of side main characters would love to see more background on them. All in all, very good read.
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