Scent of Magic picks up almost exactly where Power of Touch leaves off. Kerrick and Avry are alone after Avry has survived the plague, but they won't be together for long. Both have missions of their own to accomplish, so with promises to reunite soon, they separate. Kerrick is headed north to his kingdom and Avry is headed toward Estrid's army which is waiting to engage Tohon's army. Naturally things do not go as planned; Avry infiltrates Estrid's army in disguise in order to help train them, while Kerrick ends up prisoner to the marching northern tribes. Throughout the course of the book, each one's story is told in alternating chapters as we watch tragedy, hope, and war bloom among the main characters.
I am in love with this series! Is it the best written series ever? Nope. Does it offer anything new as far as fantasy goes? Nope. But what it does do is provide an intriguing storyline with a heroine who is not waiting around to be rescued and a supporting cast that is almost as interesting as the heroine. I love Avry's voice; she's not always reasonable and at times she's downright moody, but she cares so deeply for those she loves and she tries to do the right thing always. In the book's final conflict between she and Tohon, I was cheering her on every step of the way. She's got so much heart that even if there wasn't a romantic link between she and Kerrick, I'd be hooked into reading about them because of her force of will. And while a few of the characters--ahem, Cellina--really work my last nerve at every turn, all of them are realistically flawed and well-described.
I read Scent of Magic on the heels of finishing Power of Touch, and I'm extremely glad I did so. I was able to keep the momentum going and recall the cast of characters vividly, something I fear may diminish with the third book since I have to wait until later in the year for its release. But make no mistake, I'll be there for Book Three; Maria V. Snyder has yet to let me down as an author and I'm on board with this series completely, flaws and all.