{Review} Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Taste of Darkness
by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #3
Pages: 458
Release Date: December 31, 2014
by Mira (an imprint of Harlequin)

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

They are whited out so you can only read them if you highlight the text

What am I supposed to do with my life now that this beautiful series has ended?!

After the ending of the second book so much was set up to happen in this book and the first thing I wanted to happen [SPOILER: was getting Kerrick back.  ] It certainly didn’t happen as fast as or how I wanted it to.  I had to wait 50 agonizing pages before I knew [[SPOILER: he was okay.  And then he’s trapped in the forest. ] It killed me.

First off, this book was originally titled Taste of Death and I much prefer that title to this one, Taste of Darkness.  The latter sounds cheesier, while the first sounds intense and scary.  But I digress.

It took me a bit to get into this book.  To me the writing seemed kind of choppy and disconnected in the first 50 pages. Maybe Snyder just got into a groove later on or I got used to her writing style because the book, after that, was beautifully written.  In her books a lot of time passes so she changes a lot from present to weeks later.  Maybe that’s what threw me off a bit.  I’ve said it so many times but I’ll say it again – Maria V. Snyder is a genius when it comes to storytelling.  The story line is so fast-paced and thrilling and the staging is phenomenal.  Every single detail and every single escape makes perfect sense and isn’t too easy.  There is a lot of complicated theories in this series, like the Death and Peace Lily’s and what each one does to you.  [SPOILER: The cure for the plague ] was a great idea and I loved how we, as the reader, figured it out along with Avry. It was impressive to see Synder manipulate all the things she has developed over the course of this series to make solutions to all the problems.

There is never a dull moment, one mission after another.  The two POVs worked great in this book.  Usually I don’t like dual POVs but for this it worked perfectly because Avry and Kerrick were separated so often and we learned much more information.  I loved how funny the book was.  There were so many twists (not like in Scent of Magic though.  Those killed me) that had me gasping [SPOILER: (BELEN!).  ] And the cliffhanger at the end of every single chapters makes it impossible to put the book down.  One part of your mind is screaming “You have a ton of homework and a history midterm this week, stop reading” but the other part is yelling “OMG I must know what happens next this book is killing me” and the second always part wins out.

If I had one complaint, it’s that the ending seemed a bit rushed. I was kind of expecting something a bit more dramatic and encompassing. The last fight scene was over a bit too quickly, in my opinion.  I guess since there had been so many other drawn-out, difficult battles in the rest of the book Snyder just wanted to make this an easy one, but for the ending I was expecting something a bit more climactic.  Don’t get me wrong, it closed the book perfectly and covered any plot holes, but I was just kind of hoping for a more epic battle.  What I thought wasn’t done as well as it could have been was when [SPOILER: Avry woke back up after Kerrick killed Tohon and broke the bond between him and Avry.  I was kind of confused when she woke up where they were and what was going on ] and I kind of wished that was portrayed a bit better.  But other than that, this book was phenomenal!

Can we just take a second to appreciate how amazing this cast is?  You have Avry who is so freaking strong and selfless and brave.  She will sacrifice herself in a heartbeat for anyone, and I loved seeing her break the rules.  Kerrick – my beautiful weed boy – I felt for him in this book.  He wasn’t my sexy, confident, active Kerrick.  He was a trapped, tired, and gaunt Kerrick, and I miss the old Kerrick so much.  Then you have Belen who *bear hug* I love and [SPOILER: I’m so glad he’s back. ]  And the monkeys make everything so entertaining.  Loren and Quain are seriously like little kids only they can kill you and it’s so funny to see them banter.  I felt like Flea grew a lot in this book because he [SPOILER: has his magic and doesn’t want it but eventually learns to use it. ] I really liked him.  On the other hand, Ryne really annoyed me. [SPOILER: I hated how he would lie to Avry and use her as bait.  ] How about no?

Also, that whole Skeleton King thing is one of the creepiest, most disturbing things I’ve ever read.  I was cringing the whole time I read [SPOILER: that cannibal part and when he was biting Avry. ] That. Is. Sick.

I’m so sad to see this beautiful series with all its wonderful characters go.  But I can assure you I will be re-reading these books again and again.

5 stars

Other Books by Maria V. Snyder
Study                                    Healer                                             Glass                     Insiders
Poison Study                 Touch of Power - Review           Storm Glass              Inside Out - Review
Magic Study - Review     Scent of Magic - Review             Sea Glass                  Outside In
Fire Study - Review                                                            Spy Glass


  1. Yaaay! I'm really glad that you liked this one. I definitely agree with all your spoilers. And oh god yes, the Skeleton King and those bits and the end just killed me.

  2. must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog. It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates and will be returning. Susu Gede Tante Valerie dan Tubuh Seksinya

  3. Taste of Darkness is an entirely satisfying ending to this series. I’m so sad it’s over, but I’m just so happy with the way everything ends. Maria V. Snyder is just SO GOOD at writing fantasy! (Maybe I should get back to finishing the Study series…)

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