Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Avry of Kazan (book 1)
Publisher: Harlequin (UK) Ltd (MIRA INK division)
Release Date: 20 Dec 2011
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....
I have been waiting to get hold of this book ever since I first heard it was coming out. I saw a competition on 'MIRA Ink's' Facebook page to get a free copy of the book and I leaped at the chance. I was one of the luck winners and recieved my copy on Friday morning. It was the most excited I have been in weeks, I was squealing and jumping around hugging it. I was in the middle of another book and I pushed to finish it as quickly as I could just so I could start this one.
I picked it up to start at 10 this morning (Sunday) and I finished it in about 4 hours. I had to leave it for a while in the afternoon and I could feel it calling to me. I'm talking serious withdrawal symptoms here. hehe.
Avry is being hunted, people are blaming her and the other Healers for the spread of the plague. Instead of being respected and treated like a hero for her gift she is on the run and in danger, when she gets caught in a town and about to be killed for being a healer she gets rescued.
She ends up travelling with an odd band, Kerrick who is grumpy, defensive and controlling, Belen who is strong and tough like a bear but also has the soft cuddly side to him. Flea who is 16 years old and an ex street rat, Loren and Quain who are known as the 'monkeys' as they are always mischievous. It's a strange group but full of charm and Avry starts to question everything she has come to believe. But life is never that simple and when matters of life and death are involved, sometimes getting too attached can be the most dangerous.
I have loved Maria V Snyder since I first read her 'Study' series, I have since read everything by her and this novel reminded me just why I love her so much, her writing style is fantastic, it really sweeps you up and takes you on a journey, her use of description is never boring, instead it captures you and makes you feel like you are right there with the characters, seeing, experiencing, tasting, smelling. It really is that good.
The plot is great, and the pacing runs smoothly, a mixture of magic, mystery, fighting, discovery, love and adventure. The whole package.
I can totally say I am in love with this book.
I laughed at the groups sarcastic humour, gasped at the fights and battles, cried at some deaths and gripped the edge of my seat in anticipation. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough.
I was slightly disappointed that a certain romance didn't work out, they would have made a great couple, but the end pairing was satisfying and I can see why Snyder decided on that route.
My only real complaint is that book 2 isn't out until next year. How can I possibly wait that long?!??!?!?!?!
MIRA Ink are also teaming up with Mizz for a competition, if you do a video review and submit it before the end of Feb you can win an iPad. I can't pass up this opportunity so look out for my video review coming in the next couple of days. :D
UPDATE: Video Review now done, it had to be under 2 minutes to enter, was hard to fit it all in, but here we are: