My Rating: Beach vacation.
Taste of Darkness is the final book in Snyder’s Healer series. It picks up promptly from where book two left off. This rapid continuation is something that I really enjoy about Snyder’s trilogies; they are like reading one big book. I also like the fact that Snyder’s fantasy books are lighthearted, and Taste of Darkness is no different. I do enjoy darker fantasy books, but at the same time it’s nice to have a book that’s on the lighter side of things. That’s not to say that Taste of Darkness did not have its moments where it’s characters were put through hell, but rather the levity in Taste of Darkness comes from the undeniable happily ever after. At no time did it ever occur to me that Avry, Kerrick and co. would ever not triumph. This may be predictable, but it’s nice to know that you’re going to be happy with the ending – at least from my perspective.
In the previous two books, Avry’s been put through a lot. She’s been kidnapped, accosted, manipulated, and see the death of a close friend. Through it all she’s kept her poise and followed her calling as a healer. In Taste of Darkness all of those thread come to a head. Avry’s resolve to her profession is tested, she has to deal with more manipulations, and her relationship with Kerrick is strained. There were many challenges put in front of this heroine, but she always managed to overcome them, sometimes at personal cost to herself.
While I did enjoy this conclusion to the trilogy, I didn’t feel completely satisfied. Having read (and loved) Posion Study, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the author’s previous work. And I have to say that I thought Poison Study was much more powerful, and I didn’t find the Healer series to be as original as it could have been having read other books by the author. Taste of Darkness was good, don’t get me wrong, but was not as invested in the characters as I was in Poison Study. In fact, what I really found engaging in Taste of Darkness was the wonderful secondary characters that filled the book. There’s so many of them, and I really felt they all had a life of their own and really added depth and levity to the book. Without these wonderful characters, Belen, Loren, Quain and so on, I fear that this book would have been very one-dimensional.
As for my last comment about Taste of Darkness, I should also mention the categorization of this trilogy as “adult.” The previous books in the trilogy are shelved in the adult area of my library, but I would suggest that these would make excellent addition to the teen area. The age and the actions of the characters make me think that this would be a great teen book. It has the right combination of action, adventure and romance that would appeal to a wide audience.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I’m ready for something a little different from the author – or a return to the Poison Study world, which seems to be in the works!
*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.