Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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.
The World Lies In Tatters…
Despite constant recommendations and pushing and shoving, I had never actually gotten around to picking up a Maria V. Snyder novel. Now, I am kicking myself in the shins for not doing so as it has come to my attention why everyone was so eager to get me to read her work. She is incredibly talented and simply has a way with words and a way with worlds and is just truly inspirational. I absolutely adored this novel, her latest one, and am now itching to run off and read every other one of her books because I have every reason to believe that they will be as good and as endearing as this one.
Touch of Power literally had me hooked from the very first page. Within the first few moments, you are introduced to a character who knows the consequences of her actions and how they are very likely to affect her badly, yet she is simply compelled to help because she can’t stand to hear someone in so much pain. This inner-battle and inner-strength within Avry continues throughout the entire novel and is truly inspiring to read. It’s so gut-wrenching when she knows that her decision to help is likely to lead to her death; every single time she has to ask herself, is it worth it? I loved this part of the book as well. It was so interesting to read about, and quite unique with a fair amount of connotations added on to it as well. Everyday doctors and nurses give up their lives to save others, they work around the clock to make sure that everyone who can be saved is and this book simply takes this idea and just stretches it further and I really loved that about it.
Without looking at Quain, Belen said, “I’d say you’re looking for trouble, Quain. Because that’s what you’ll get if you keep teasing Avry.”
Truth Be Told
I’ve not actually read many witchy-medieval type stories (shock horror, I know) but I found myself really enthralled and compelled by this one. It has definitely made me want to pursue other books within the genre to see just how different they are and will hopefully find that they’re all as awesome and imaginative asTouch of Power was. It is due to this lack of genre and background knowledge, however, that I feel it unfair to judge this book based on this aspect as I literally don’t have anything in my mind that I could compare it to. However, having said that, I really loved the settings that were created, the place names, the ideas behind the emperor’s and the kingdom itself. I found it all incredibly fascinating and intriguing to read about.
Above all of it though, what really pulled me into this story were the characters. While they may not have been truly fleshed out, and you didn’t get a full history of them all, I simply adored each and every character. Flea was fun, full of enthusiasm and energy and always seemed to have a light in him which just brought a light into my own heart. Belen was protective and instinctive and friendly and caring and just made me want to hug him tight and never let go. Loren and Quain were the best monkeys a reader could ask for and even as two fairly side characters, they both had great shining personalities that were easy to fall in love with.
The tight-knit group with their dynamic personalities was a joy to read and gave the book that bit of entertainment in the seriousness of it all. I quickly fell in love with the home-made family and wanted to keep them all to myself so that they could continue to keep me company and to make me laugh. I was honestly truly envious of Avry for getting to have them so near to her.
“Why Flea?” A full-out grin spread across Flea’s face. “Cause I’m fast and hard to catch.” “Because he’s a pest and hard to squash,” Belen Said. “Because he jumps in about three feet in the air when you scare him,” Loren added. “Because he’s annoying and makes us itch with impatience,” Quain said. “Thanks, guys. I love you, too” Flea made exaggerated kissing noises and patted his ass.” (page 45).
But of course, the main character that truly had me falling on the floor was Kerrick. He was simply a heart-throb. With his mysterious ways, to his anger and his protective side, to his stubborn-ness and his history, he was simply a bundle of goodness all wrapped up in a neat little bow. I loved his relationship with Avry, and the way that it progresses through the novel.
Kerrick gave him a tight smile. “You mean I’m not omnipotent?” “You’re not semipotent.” “Is that even a word?” Kerrick asked. “He probably mean you’re impotent.” I offered. It was worth Kerrick’s glare to hear Belen’s deep chuckle. (page 82).
A story filled with emotional twists and turns!
I admired how much he watched over her from afar and always saved her when he thought he was going to lose her and I just loved him so very much. I liked that she stood up to him, causing him to have to take a step back and re-evaluate things. He was honestly so… put-together and yet, at the same time, it was easy to see him from layer to layer. He transformed so much through the novel and I honestly cannot wait to see what else is in store for him!
Overall this story is one that is rich in emotion, a full-length journey full of twists and turns and unexpected trivialities that really pull the reader in and want you to read on. It made it extremely difficult to put the book down and go do something else instead. I enjoyed the way the story played out and I really liked how it ended.
I figured that it would turn out the way it did but it was still so nice to see and interesting to read just how it would happen. I am definitely excited to see what Maria has left in her imagination to show us and what other amazing journey’s she will take us on as I sit in trepidation for the next addition to the Healer series.
Faye is twenty one years old and is currently studying Film and Television at university and is in her third and final year. She has been blogging about books and films for six months and is thoroughly enjoying herself while she does it! She’s not sure where she wants to end up in her future but knows that if it involves writing, books or films then she will be happy and that is all that really matters! She updates her blog almost daily with reviews, interviews, giveaways, articles and memes. She can be contacted by email via twitter; @daydreamin_star
Image credit: Mira Ink