Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Publication Date: December 20th, 2011
Format: E-ARC from Net Galley
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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…



I wasn’t too keen on picking up another fantasy book after reading Froi of the Exiles. But I thought I’d give this book a try anyway because I’ve been a fan of the author ever since I read her Poison Study.

Touch of Power is set in the same world – realms, mages and regency dominated the pages. This book didn’t disappoint. In fact, I can readily admit that I liked this more than Poison Study….gasps! I know. The thing is, I’m a romance reader before anything else. I loved the relationships formed in this book better than Poison Study. While both book has no insta-love, I found myself more receptive to Avry and Keering’s relationship. Nothing really happened between them until the last pages, but throughout the book, the tension between them was explosive.

This is the story of Avry, a healer hunted by pretty much every kingdom jockeying for position to rule all of The Fifteen Realms. On the day of her execution, a group of rogue bandits abducted her for the purpose of healing a prince in stasis – a prince who had crusaded against her people. In the mercy of an unforgiving captor, Avry learns that now more than ever, the choices she must make as a healer determines the fate of those who are left of all the kingdoms ravaged by a plague.

This book has most of the makings of an incredible fantasy novel. Devoid of all the clichéd subjects we’d normally see in YA, this book captured my attention right from the start. The plot is well conceptualized and the characters were all written well. It’s the first of the series so the ending, though resolved, made me regret ever reading this book ahead of its release date; because now, I have an even longer wait for the next one to come out.

One complaint:  The language used in this book doesn’t seem to match the era from when the book was set. Judging by the wardrobe and the description of the environment, I know that this book is supposed to be historical/fantasy. But it seems the author opted to use simple and modern language to write this novel. I didn’t mind it at all because it made for an easier time in understanding the dialogues and events but I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t point it out.

Otherwise, I’m buying myself a copy of this book on its release date! This book had me reading at the office practicing the art of minimizing my screen fast so no one would catch me, well, not working. 🙂


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