Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

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The basics

Title: Scent of Magic

Author:

Series: Healer #2

- Touch of Power (2011)
- Scent of Magic (2012)
- Taste of Darkness (2013)

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Goodreads Summary:

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.
This recap was written and submitted by the ever awesome Ula from Blog of Erised <3

In short

Avry decided to go back south to Estrid’s forces and wait for Ryne and Kerrick to come join them in the fight with Tohon. She became a sergeant and helped train the forces. She got close to them and helped them while trying to get close to her sister again. Ryne arrived and they planned the war together. After she was made, she had to help in the infirmary, until Tohon won and prevailed – Estrid surrendered, but Ryne managed to escape before that. In an attempt to flee, she fell into another ambush, made by Jael – another one who fled, but eventually managed to escape and find Ryne and his men.

Meanwhile Kerrick left for the north. He took his brother’s forces and tried to battle the tribes, but lost. He was captured and imprisoned, but he managed to help the tribes, rescue himself and travel back south. He reacquainted with his family, found Ryne and eventually Avry as well. They saved each other from Tohon’s men, but the enemies still managed to escape.

Belen was lost, Danny was still in the north, Ryne’s army too small to change anything and to top it all, in the end Kerrick got sick as well. A lot of troubles still waited.

What went down

  • Avry and Kerrick were travelling back to the others when Avry had an idea to hide among Estrid’s men. She was thought dead and she’d milk it for all its worth. Avry left for the Lamp Post Inn where they slept once before and asked for help. She got new look and new identity before Estrid’s men tried to collect her and recruit her during the night. She fought them off and caught one. She pretended she wanted to be recruited.
  • Meanwhile Kerrick found himself surrounded by zombie ufas on the other side of the Nine Mountains in the northern realms. Mutts were Cellina’s, and she was Tohon’s adviser.
  • A week later Avry was in Zabin, the main city of Estrid’s operations. She got an escort to Major Granvil where she got a job fast – training solders how to quietly move around. She became a sergeant. She started training a platoon right away. Kerrick was being attacked by ufas at the time, who got the signal from Cellina. It was all just a game, so she could lie to Tohon.
  • He arrived at Ryne’s castle soon after that. He was instructed to tell Zila and Danny – kids Avry saved from Tohon’s experiments – that she died. It upset them greatly and Zila disappeared.
  • Avry was made out to be a magic user on her first day, but Ursan the magic sniffer agreed to keep it quiet. As she proved to be competent, they let her train the forces, but stayed suspicious of her and did not trust her stories.
  • After the first debriefing about Tohon’s army, she realized they were making neck protectors for Tohon’s dead. Meanwhile, Kerrick, along with Quain and Loren, each had a troop of soldiers to train in forest movement. He’s been taking all evening meals with the kids and they got very close. Soon Ryne learned that northern tribes have been invading northern realms.
  • Avry trained further, checked on her sister every now and then and looked for Melina, Mom’s abducted daughter. Soon the word came that Ryne’s troops will be coming in about a week. He came ten days after the message, but Kerrick was not with them. He was at his home with his brother Izak, trying to get his troops to help Ryne. He also brought kids with him so they can be in a safe place. Izak made a deal with Tohon years ago for protection.
  • When Ryne arrived, Avry kept looking for Melina without any luck. She learned about her later from a Private – she wasn’t a virgin anymore so she was sent to a monastery as punishment.
  • The same evening, Avry and Ursan have been called to Jael’s tent. She got a task to set a match between Ursan’s men and Ryne, Loren, Quain and Belen. The next morning Avry learned about the attacking tribes and that people still believed her dead.
  • While the teams were lost in the woods and Avry, she was ambushed by Belen, who seemed to recognize her and he hugged her fiercely. Then a distraction happened and Avry figured Ryne was in danger as Jael ordered Ursan to kill him.
  • Meanwhile Kerrick put his brother under house arrest and tried to save the damage done with the deal of joining forces with Tohon. He found a tiny loophole.
  • The diversion in the woods were escaped prisoners of war, their camp was on fire. Avry was supposed to be the traitor who killed Ryne, but it all turned out to be a game. They decided they should try and stop Jael before she succeeds in killing Ryne or anyone else without Estrid knowing. Avry also revealed herself to her friends, who thought she was dead. Ryne went to have a chat with Jael.
  • Kerrick showed the kids to the library and with that said goodbye before he left with the troops. He left his brother in charge but demanded that his old aunt will be an advisor so Izak doesn’t do anything stupid again. He tried to convince his brother to mobilize the entire town, in case they had to leave fast.
  • Avry trained the men more, this time with Belen’s help. They chatted about the armour and agreed it’s for the undead. Ryne confirmed the pieces have been made from durable and tough liquid metal. Belen left with Ursan and his team to find the dead soldiers.
  • Avry went to investigate about the POW breakout during the previous training. Then she left for Ryne’s tent; he summoned her earlier to talk about her surviving the plague. Ryne wanted to experiment with Peace Lilies in case they are the cure for the plague.
  • Kerrick was marching on the tribes – their numbers were around twelve hundred. People living in the north were fleeing to the south. Even the tribes were spreading south. Kerrick decided to split his forces into four groups and send them out separately. On the morning of splitting, they found Danny and Zila in the supply wagons.
  • Meanwhile Avry went to get the lily toxin. She left with sergeants Thea and Saul. Before they left, Avry went to look for her sister to talk to her. She was made the moment they started talking. They had another fight and Noelle stabbed her. She healed fast and left for the mission the next day.
  • The Peace Lilies Avry needed were in Vyg, a realm under Tohon’s rule. One of the Peace Lilies deposited Flea before Avry. He was alive and well and Avry took him with them. They encountered a lot of dead soldiers that night and after they followed them, they got ambushed. After taking care of that, they went further after the dead, but they just disappeared. Later on a few more cases like that were reported.
  • Kerrick got caught by the tribes and gave the signal to fight. His army was defeated and he was bound. He was tortured by special icy spell by the tribe leader’s son Noak and extorted with Danny whom the gang caught. Kerrick told them all about the south and the plague and they slowly started retreating. He told Danny, who was unbound the whole time, to gather the clansmen trust but bolt at the first chance.
  • Kerrick was led into a cell in an abandoned city that the tribe claimed. Danny was housed with the other boys who were not tribemen but former citizens of the abandoned city.
  • Meanwhile Avry was training with the soldiers, helping Ryne show them how to kill the dead with neck armour. After she was made by the whole camp, she was called to Jael who nearly suffocated her. Flea saved her because he felt Avry was in danger. They shared a special connection. He helped her with the work in the infirmary.
  • Soon after Ursan and half of his team came back – Ursan died in the infirmary and Bellen was missing. Avry left with Saul to give him to the lilies but they wouldn’t take him. Coming back she found Ryne’s forces gone.
  • Avry believed Ryne left because she had a theory how the dead were disappearing: Tohon must have been burying them. He took away Flea as well. Estrid’s people thought Avry was on it as well until she returned.
  • Soon after Avry returned to her room, Jael came to her and attacked her. She accused Avry and Ryne working with Tohon all this time. Noelle intervened slightly and made Jael stop abusing Avry. Tohon attacked during that night. Avry still worked in the infirmary and listened to the war stories.
  • After trying out many tactics, Jael ceased the defence. For three days all was calm. Then Estrid called for Avry. She learned they camp was surrounded. Meanwhile Kerrick was allowed to clean and shave and have his wounds taken care of. Danny helped wounded tribe members and soon Kerrick joined in as well. He also found out Danny has been developing healing powers.
  • Estrid surrendered to Tohon after he sent Celline to negotiate. Avry sent Saul to Ryne with some Death Lily toxin and a note, while she prepared for something as well. She was woken up by one of the staff – her sister has been attacked. Noelle tried to stop Jael from leaving and thus breaking the surrendering truce. Tohon came and made them all swear fealty except Avry. He kept dragging her with him, telling her he will woo her. Noelle was his new page. He decided they will look for Jael and Ryne. Cellina also lied to Avry that Kerrick was dead and Tohon told her that he made Belen into a walking dead.
  • Kerrick was helping Danny when they learned Noak’s sister disappeared, he helped look for her. It turned out she escaped alone and was not taken. She did not want to go into the arranged marriage her father set up for her with a member of the only other remaining tribe.
  • Avry woke up next to Tohon to find out by Cellina that Estrid’s troops are gone as well as Tohon’s earth mage Ulany. Tohon put 4 dead guards on Avry as she worked in the infirmary.
  • After she took care of most of the patients and took a nap, Tohon strode in and took her. He tortured her with his painful touch. He found the syringes and neutralized dead soldiers and needed answers. She told the truth after Tohon threatened to poison Noelle. In the end he still did it.
  • Kerrick told Danny to pack and they left for Rakel’s cave. Danny healed her and passed out. After Kerrick came out to try and help Danny, Noak rounded on him about Rakel. Rakel came out of the cave, loaded on sun (as her power came from it) and helped Danny. She told Noak he must challenge their father for the leadership or she will. She will not marry Olave.
  • Avry was watching Noelle die. As Avry tried to poison her guard, Tohon came and told her he already found her toxin sack so she was unable to immobilize the dead. But Noelle slammed him over the head and Avry zapped him so he passed out.
  • With Noelle’s help they managed to immobilize the dead guard. Tohon’s live guard came running and Avry stopped two before they had to leave. They fled east with two of Estrid’s soldiers. They had to fight off the dead soldiers outside. They lost one soldier themselves before encountering a group of then unknown humans who travelled with them further. They were waiting for the group – it looked like Noelle betrayed Avry again.
  • Kerrick agreed to be Rakel’s second in the challenge of her father. Danny became part of the tribe as Rakel healed him. On the day of the fight, Danny dashed into the ring claiming he’s Rakel’s second. Danny tried to force the forfeit out of Rakel’s father, claiming he and Rakel are the only ones that can save the sick tribe members.
  • Avry was captured by Jael and her troops and locked away. During the night they were found by Cellina’s ufa pack. Avry got trapped under a dead ufa before Enric found her. They saved Noelle as well and fled. Noelle died and they took her to a Peace Lily, but it grabbed Avry instead and lifted all her sorrows. Noelle couldn’t be saved. After the burial they set off towards Healer’s Guild where Avry believed Ryne hid.
  • Travelling, Avry consulted a Death Lily again and learned about Tohon’s dead. She got a few more toxin sacks to counter the soldiers. On the way to the guild, they picked up as much toxin as they could find. Then they went into the underground records room. Finding a note they went for the cave the gang used once before and met Loren and Quain. After finding Ryne and Flea, they exchanged their stories.

How did it end?

Danny and Rakel must have prevailed because Kerrick has been riding back across the Nine Mountains to the southern realms without Danny – he left him alive and well behind. He reunited with his family soon after and struck a deal with Izak if the latter allowed the tribes to settle in Alga realm. Avry helped in the infirmary cave. She left for more toxin sacks soon after she settled in and Wynn, a ‘friendly’ soldier lured her into a trap with dead ufas.

Soon they were joined by Cellina – Wynn’s sister, who wanted Avry dead. After that Tohon came as well, with Sepp, and wanted to take Avry. Then Kerrick came, who, after meeting with Ryne and the boys looked for Avry. In the fray that followed, Avry stabbed Tohon. His men followed Celina’s orders to kill the ufas and Avry, but she was saved by Kerrick’s magic. With his help, they tried to incapacitate the soldiers.

Soon, Loren, Flea and Quain joined the fight and they won, until Sepp caught Quain and threatened to put him into the stasis. Another commotion followed where Quain got into stasis and Tohon’s men gathered their wits. But Kerrick managed to pin down Sepp, who admitted that Belen was alive and encased as well. Wynn attacked Kerrick because Odd’s men were approachingso they could leave. She left with Sepp and Cellina, but not before she tried to poison Kerrick as well. Avry helped while Flea managed to wake Quain – apparently he was now a death magician. Returning back to the infirmary with Odd, they relayed the story many times. During the night Kerrick got sick and feverish and he lost consciousness.

terminology

Healers – magicians of healing type of magic (others ways of magic are earth, water, moon, life etc.)

Magic sniffer – a person without their own magic but one that can detect it in others

Forest magic – Kerrick’s magic, becoming one with the forest; different from earth magic

Peace and Death Lilies – first ones are only reviving people with magical potential and they leave healthy people alone, but the second ones eat humans but some are immune to their toxin

Realms – 15 realms of the world Avry lives in, now in rumble, being invaded by a few powerful individuals. Tohon tried to unite them under his rule.

Ufa – a wolf-like huge animal from the realms

Ice curse, summer spell – magic in the north among the tribes, derived from four seasons

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