Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
Healer series, bk 3. Harlequin Mira, 2014. ISBN
(Age: 14+) Recommended as a light paranormal read. The final in the Healer series, sees Avry working with Reyne. Kerrick her true love, is missing and she doesn't know if she will ever see him again. She has defeated King Tohon but he haunts her dreams, taunting her with her fears. Although she survived the plague, it appears again to test her ability as a healer. Cases of a mutant strain are developing in the soldiers and her healing powers are really needed. The Skeleton King has gathered his army of undead and the fate of the Fifteen Realms depends on her skill.
Taste of darkness brings the Healer series to a very satisfying conclusion. It sees Avery growing in strength and maturity as she struggles to find a cure for the plague and fights against the dreams that King Tohon sends her. She is loyal to her friends and never abandons them. Her little group of Monkeys and Odd the soldier provide moments of light relief through some quite horrific scenes featuring the Skeleton King and the machinations of those hungry for power.
Avry's romance with Kerrick faces many hurdles as his link with the forest grows and his ability to go outside it recedes. Avry's determination and stubbornness come to the fore as she refuses to believe that he is dead. Both know that bringing peace to the realm is more important than their love for each other and they face separation to ensure that they do the best for the kingdom. They need to use all their skills through battles, betrayal, capture and torture before peace comes to the realm
Readers who have followed this series will be rewarded with a well written third book that brings everything together after heart stopping moments, gory battles and intriguing magic.