Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (December 18, 2012)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: The action continues unabated in this sequel to TOUCH OF POWER. Avry and Kerrick must go off on separate tasks in their joint quest to stop King Tohon from taking control of all of the fifteen Realms.
Avry is heading into the Realm controlled by Estrid who happens to be something of a religious fanatic but still an opponent for King Tohon. However, Avry's estranged younger sister is there working as an aide to General Jael. Avry wants one more chance to try to reconnect with her sister.
Avry goes in disguise because everyone thinks she died while saving Prince Ryne from the plague. Since Avry is the only Healer left in the Realms, she is the focus of lots of negative attention. King Tohon has developed an obsession for her and Jael wants to kill her because she might foil her plans. Avry finds a place in Estrid's army training the soldiers to move silently through the forests which might be their only way to defeat the much larger forces of King Tohon. Unfortunately Tohon has found a way to reanimate the dead which has created an army no one knows how to defeat.
Kerrick goes north to rendezvous with Prince Ryne who is Tohon's major opponent. Ryne sends him even further north to investigate rumors that the tribes from the wildlands are invading his home realm. When he arrives he learns that his brother has formed an agreement with Tohon which has saved his Realm. However, he has also sent most of the Realm's soldiers to join Tohon's army. Ryne is left with only a couple hundred soldiers to try to force the northerners back to their own lands.
Both Avry and Kerrick face many difficulties before they are reunited. Both suffer greatly wondering about the fate of the other. The story is told in alternate sections from each character's point of view. In the eARC I read the settings frequented shifted in the middle of paragraphs. Hopefully, the final print and ebooks will correct this very jarring transition.
Fans of the first book will really enjoy this one and will be eager for the next book in the series. I don't know that this book would stand alone well. Much of it depends on the reader knowing what happened in book one. However, the characters were interesting and the action was non-stop which might be enough to lure in new readers who would then be eager to find out what they missed in book one.
After waiting for her to calm, I said, "What's so funny about that?"I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
"Come on, Baby Face. First, he's a prince, and second, everyone knows there is only one man for you."
That surprised me. "Really? Which man?"
"We've no idea. But you're the prettiest sergeant around and you've been so oblivious to the interest from the other guys that we've figured you had to be in love with someone else. Did he die from the plague?"
"No." My reply just popped from my mouth.
"Then why isn't he with you?"