Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder ★★★★★

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Fantasy (Romantic elements, magic, intrigue, betrayal, friendship, power, politics, YA appropriate)
Series: Book one in the Healer series
Original Language: English
Publisher: Mira
Country: USA
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
ISBN: 978-0778313076
Page Count: 400
My Rating: ★★★★★

Summary

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life.

REVIEW


I absolutely loved this book. I became a fan of Maria V. Snyder's work back with Poison Study (book one in the Study Trilogy) and I enjoyed this one just as much. The world created for this new trilogy, although not in any way connected, had a very similar feel to it to that of the Study series. It is very similar to our own world in many ways, although without the benefits of our modern technology- plumbing, electricity, cars etc. - but with the added bonus of magic. Lots and lots of lovely magic!

The story had excellent pacing. Right from the first page we were off and running (literally) and before I even realised what I was doing I had inhaled the first 100 pages of the book. If not for that darn pesky sleep thing we humans require, I wouldn't have stopped there either.

One of the best things about Maria's writing is her amazing characters. She writes beautifully forming friendships that really touch you as a reader. Her writing is emotive, I felt my heart plummet several times during the course of the book over something that was said or revealed. But the very best thing of all for me, is the way she sets up the romantic storyline. That is to say, she doesn't set it up in any kind of in-your-face or obvious way. It's so very clever and subtle that you don't even realise what's happening until it creeps up on you. Little actions and gestures. Words said when people think themselves unheard. I absolutely loved trying to read between the lines and hear what went unsaid. This kind of subtlety is so much more enjoyable to me than the insta-love of so many other books.

I also enjoyed all the magical abilities we saw. The healing power of our main character, Avry, is fascinating in that she has to assume the injuries or illnesses into her own body first in order to heal them. Her healing is greatly accelerated over that of a normal person, but that doesn't mean she doesn't suffer. She feels every bit of it and has the scars to prove it. This makes her seem incredibly altruistic at times but that doesn't mean she will heal everyone she is told to on command. And this is the main crux of the story. She is asked by Kerrick, the leader of the band of rogues who abduct her at the start of the book, to heal Prince Ryne. Avry flat out refuses for reasons that she initially doesn't wish to share. As you can imagine this news isn't received well and the plot takes off from here.

There really was not a dull moment in this book. It had me bemoaning each and every one of my responsibilities that kept me away from it during the course of the 3 days it took to read. I am greatly looking forward to the next book and just hope it maintains this incredibly high standard, and that all of the characters I have come to love will be there waiting for me inside.

5 STARS ★★★★★

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