I am a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder. She’s one of my favourite authors. So, I was really excited about this book, even though it’s in a separate world from where the Study series and the Glass series is set. It felt like a different world too. In this book the Fifteen realms are still healing from a devastating plague that was believed to be caused by the healers, and Avry is the last of those healers who can hopefully save a prince from the plague.There were things that felt similar to previous books I’ve read by Snyder. The magic set up was similar, except in this world magic was set up into basic elements and magicians were a much rarer thing to come across (by the time of the book there was only one of each form left supposedly). But obviously this was in an entirely different setting and so most things were very different. However, the focus was on the group 75% of the book, so that was the forefront of the story. Which is great because that was easily my favourite part. Honestly, the characters in these books. They are all so great. I also really really liked how she handled the set up of having a group of guys to one captive girl. I could see that as being done in all sorts of wrong ways, but the way it was handled and how Avry integrated herself into the group and the family was done so well. I loved all of the guys in the group, especially Flea and Quain. All the little interactions and banter between the guys was just perfect. Also Kerrick. Ok. I mean, during the Glass series I wasn’t really fond of any of the romantic interests (mostly because I spent a lot of time hoping for another Valek appearance. Ok. I admit it.) But Kerrick was great. The cold hearted forest mage. I also appreciate that everything was handled in a way that was decidedly not Stockholm syndrome-esque (even though I don’t …. Really have a problem with those kinds of relationships… still the progression of Avry and Kerrick’s relationship was the best).And, ok, because I haven’t fangirled over a villain in a while and I usually promise it, I really loved Tohon. He was a COMPLETE psychopath. Totally crazy. I did like him a lot. But, yes, as usual, I wish more YA authors would learn from how Snyder writes in first person. Because she does it right. Avry didn’t feel like anyone else but Avry. She was never boring, I never felt like her character was forced. She was immersed in the story so her character came through. And she was a good character. Avry is a great lead. She’s strong and stubborn and basically fantastic. The story had great pacing considering a great deal of their time was spent trekking through the forest or in caves. It was never boring and I actually did a pretty bad job of predicting the plot (about halfway through I gave up trying to actually predict anything, because I didn’t really see anything in the end coming) Basically, though, this story was fantastic. Proving once again why Snyder is one of my favourite authors. She creates such real fantasy with very real characters and this book was no exception. This one was at the same level of greatness for me as the Study series. I am really looking forward to the next book.