After reading the first few chapters I actually went back and double-checked that it was indeed written by Snyder. It seems to lack her natural flair and intricate world-building ability. The beginning was confusing and the end was what I would expect of a novice storyteller. Only the main body of the book seemed to have an essence of what Snyder is capable of. It is almost as if she has taken a step back from the series.
Knowing what an incredible abundance of creativity and character development she usually packs into her books, I was more than a little surprised.
Avry is back from the dead and eager to go undercover to defeat Tohon. The boundaries between life and death are at the very least not a black and white issue anymore. What was alive is dead and yet still walking around and what is supposed to be dead seems to be quite alive. This state of affairs is linked to a secret substance created by Tohon.
The return of the healer is met with suspicion and mistrust by even those closest to her. That makes it harder for Avry to identify friend or foe.
I would like to see Snyder delve a little deeper into the connection of the plants with Avry, who has become a bit of a Lily-whisperer.
Her relationship with Kerrick was completely secondary to the plot and even the strange attraction to the evil one himself took more of backburner during the story.
What Snyder did focus on was the war and the surrounding tribes, possibly with an eye on future conflicts to come.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for my review.