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Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder eARC {3.5 Stars}

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder is the conclusion to the Healer trilogy. It concludes the story of Avry and Kerrick and their fight to bring peace to their continent after the devastating plague destroyed the fabric of society. Taste of Darkness, and the Healer series in general, struggled a bit with trying to tell too long and epic of a story in three moderately-sized books. I ended up frequently feeling rushed, but also excited about everything that was happening. That being said, I found Taste of Darkness to be a very satisfying end to this fun and creative fantasy trilogy.

Note: I received Taste of Darkness through Netgalley for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder eARC {3.5 Stars}

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (Healer #3)
Published by Harlequin MIRA on Dec 31st, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

3.5 Stars


  • Taste of Darkness continues the POV switching between Avry and Kerrick, which worked really well. It gave Taste of Darkness a chance to tell a complete story about the things going on in the world, since again Kerrick and Avry spend a significant time apart. It’s also fun to see what they think of each other *swoon*.
  • Gah! The bad guys get creepier if that’s possible! There is a new villain (pseudo-king) on the scene and he makes Tohon look like a sadistic kitten…. Tohon is still making trouble of course though, leading to all the shenanigans!
  • I enjoyed the intricate plot twists and turns that Taste of Darkness contained. You definitely need to be paying attention, let me tell you!
  • Taste of Darkness had quite a satisfying ending. I wasn’t in love with all the choices made, but I think people will be happy with how things turn out :).
  • We get to find out more about the plague and it was awesome! Avry is so clever and used fairly accurate (if you consider magic is involved) medical know-how, woot!


  •  OMG why won’t people just stay dead???? You know how someone dies in the first book but then… yeah that continues A LOT. I won’t tell you who or when of course, but after the third time someone tragically dies, but then really isn’t dead in this series, I get annoyed.
  • Some of the gang of secondary characters conveniently changed personalities and discovered a savant ability when it was obviously really convenient. Ugh.
  • Maybe I was just too tired while reading Taste of Darkness at times, but wow did I get confused at times. Especially in my eARC, there weren’t chapter divisions between Avry and Kerrick’s switches, making it all the more tricky to figure out who is narrating and what is going on.
  • Due to the sheer number of events that are stuffed in to Taste of Darkness, I felt that I got disconnected from Avry. Where is that spunky character that I wanted to be BFFs with in the first book? She’s off doing something and being tough, which is all well and good, but she lost a bit of her human element.


Taste of Darkness is definitely a finale that most people will enjoy. If you’ve read this far in the trilogy, you might as well finish right! Plus, there are so many cool things we finally find out about in Taste of Darkness, so I really do recommend it if you’ve enjoyed the first two books. This trilogy in general made me constantly wish it had been stretched into about five books so that we could spend more time with the characters and not rush through events as much, but it is what it is. If that hasn’t bothered you yet, no reason for it to bother you now ;-).

3.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Updates from the Lair 12/08/13

Updates from the Lair

Gah, where did December come from?? Who said November could end, who?? Sorry about missing last week, I was just too worn out to post an update D: and this week is going to be another crazy one because it’s FINALS! My finals aren’t so bad since I’m a grad student, so I just have a final paper due today (yes, today, Sunday, because my prof is evil) and another one due at the end of the week. No big tests or anything to worry about. I’m hoping to get everything done and turned in by Tuesday and then taking a couple of days off to read read read! That’ll give my #ReadingCram read-a-thon list a good dent hopefully ;-).

My Week

We started our read-a-long of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms this past week so I’m about halfway through and loving it! There is an unreliable narrator who pauses to try to remember things or backtracks to explain something she forgot and it’s just so much fun to read. I love narration styles that break the fourth wall and make it feel like the MC is really telling me the story directly, hehe. The world that The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is in is just awesome, there are enslaved gods and magic palaces and evil ruling nobility. Just what I was in the mood for!


I’ve also finally had the chance to start Copperhead, which Tor sent me a finished copy of a month or so ago. It’s been on the stack, but there have been too many pressing deadlines these past couple of months! However, I’ve finally gotten into it and I’m really enjoying it. Copperhead tells the story from Helen’s perspective and wow is that women much deeper than Jane led us to believe in the previous book. I’m really enjoying the switch of perspective and the continuation of the fey masks conflict. So creepy but delightful :D.

Taste of Darkness

I’ve also started in on my eARC of Taste of Darkness since it’s coming out at the end of the month. It picks up right where Scent of Magic left off and despite my slight inability to believe that anyone is permanently dead anymore (they keep coming back, like freaking cockroaches!), I’m suspicious it might be serious this time D: Anyway, I haven’t had a lot of time for this one since I’m trying to finish Copperhead fast, but I’ve enjoyed the 6% I’ve read, haha.

And in case you missed it, these were my posts this week:

Reports from Other Lairs

I’ve moved all my review and discussion links to my Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday lists :D.

Happy Reading!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – A

Spoils and Tribute

Spoils and Tribute

Spoils and Tribute is a feature of On Starships and Dragonwings where I tell you about the books I’ve bought and received recently. I promise that I paid for all my spoils and I’m not letting the “tribute” go to my head ;-).

Spoils and Tribute was inspired by Tynga’s Stacking the Shelves.

I have been a bad bad blogger and not posted a book haul update in at least two weeks. I took pictures last week so that I could put away some books, but then craziness happened and I had no chance of getting posts up this weekend! Therefore, have pictures of lots of books!


 Taste of Darkness Book Holder
Spoils and Tribute

I got a couple of NetGalley approvals over the past two weeks (and a couple rejections *shakes fist*), but I discovered after being approved for NIL that there isn’t a .mobi D: I refuse to read books on my computer, so I had to let them know that I wouldn’t be able to review it unless I got a physical copy *sigh*. Anyone have one that I could borrow/swap for? Also yey Taste of Darkness *hurriedly reads Touch of Power*

What is that strange device on my horribly chipped nail you ask?? That is a bit of plastic from a 3D printer that is designed to hold open books so your pinkie finger doesn’t get tired :D. My labmate got a 3D printer last week for printing lab supplies and he offered to print me something for putting up with the constant noise and people coming by to ask about it *grumbles and puts in headphones*. I haven’t tested this thing for long periods of time yet, but it seems to work well :D.

Finally, a friend was cleaning out ARCs and offered me Not a Drop to Drink and False Prince. Since they are both on the TBR wishlist, I of course snagged!


Spoils and Tribute

The two Champions are both signed and one is for the giveaway :D. I also have been a long time fan of Hyperbole and a Half and was very excited to support Allie by getting her book! I already finished it and passed it on to Mr. Boy’s sister who is also a fan :). I needed to read Indigo Awakening since I have the sequel to review, so I borrowed that from the library (already finished it and disliked it greatly….). Finally, Prospero’s Children is an old-school YA mermaid book (from before YA was YA and was instead juvenile fiction) that my bookseller friend spotted. She grabbed a beautiful used hardcover with an awesome cover under the dust jacket and then ordered a paperback for me to buy. I’m so excited for this one since I’m really hoping it’s a great mermaid book! Also the rest of the series focuses on different mythical creatures for each book :D.

What have you gotten recently?