Published December 25th, 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
Cover and synopsis provided by the publisher.
Hunted, killed, survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal 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 confidant, 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.
Let me just start this by saying, I loved this book. Every page was a joy for me to read and I couldn’t wait to see where things would go. I read the first book in this series and fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to read the second one. The cover was amazing, the synopsis was amazing, and I jumped at the chance to read it.
This book picks up just a handful of days after Touch of Power ended. Avry and Kerrick have been spending some time, ahem, getting to know each other better. Now they have to get back to work. Kerrick is going to go meet up with Prince Ryne and prepare their army to meet with Estrid’s troops to take on Tohon’s attack. Avry wants to go find her sister and do what she can to get her away from Jael and set things right with her. And so the two of them split up, with Kerrick promising to keep Avry’s miraculous survival a secret so that no one suspects she is still alive. This is where we get to the narration of the story. We have two different stories being narrated, Kerrick’s story and Avry’s story. I found this an interesting approach that complimented the story overall. We haven’t heard much from Kerrick’s perspective before and I found him to be a great character. I knew he was a strong, intelligent, but stubborn individual but hearing his narration took his character to a whole new level. I like Kerrick more than I did before.
Avry is still just as fantastic a heroine as she started out in Touch of Power. She still has a few moments of being sacrificing to the point of stupidity, just like in the prior book. But, overall, she is everything a book heroine should be. She’s strong, smart, determined, stubborn, resourceful, and compassionate. Why can’t we have more heroines (particularly in YA ficiton) like her? My only complaint is that she didn’t seem to be doing much. Yes, she was helping Estrid’s troops but it was mostly just day after day of the same with a few things thrown in on the side.
The plot was very interesting, but I admit that in places it seemed to drag and there wasn’t much going on. This was supposed to be the preparation for war with Tohon and Tohon’s attack. We got some preparations for war, but because neither Kerrick or Avry was involved in that planning the reader didn’t get to see too much of it. The attack by Tohon was good and things really started to get interesting. I also really like the secondary plot of investigating the properties and abilities of the Death Lilies and Peace Lilies. I have to say that I was hoping to see more of this than we did. We had characters lost and characters returned. We learned more about the depths of Tohon’s evil mind. I also think the title of the book is appropriate for the secondary plot that was explored. Lilies have the ability to know if someone is magically inclined, and we also meet a character who can literally sniff out the magic of others.
Overall this book did exactly what the second book in a series is supposed to do, move the plot forward, and entice readers to read the next in the series. Though I felt the plot could have moved a little quicker, I am not disappointed by where it is going. And that ending, holy crap! How long until the next book again?
A free copy of this ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Harlequin for a great read!