Thursday, February 14, 2013
Book Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Pub Date: December 20, 2011
My Copy: From my Too Be Read Pile
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 found this book to be a never ending assortment of delight and joy as I was reading it. It kept me glued the whole time while I was reading it. Avery was one of the most interesting and unique female heroine’s I’ve read in a long time.
Avery clearly is in a situation that she doesn’t want to be in at all. Yet her life is interesting to say the least. She knows the dangers that she faces every time she heals someone because of the fear of the plague. I see that people’s fear of disease, magic or the unknown can bring out the worst in people. In this case, healers have been known to be arrested and killed. These theme is explored a lot in the beginning of the book and that makes it more intense and riveting to read.
What makes her life more valuable suddenly is that an unexpected group of rescuers comes along and saves her from death after she’s been arrested for being what she is, a healer. Yet after they rescue her life takes some very dramatic turns. The unexpected developments are definitely interesting and different. I really love how this is a journey/quest book as they are traveling to accomplish a very specific goal, but Avery finds that the road isn’t easy nor is anything by accident.
There were lots of terrific moments between Kerrick and Avery. It’s one of the more interesting aspects of the book. The relationship definitely catches your attention as you think these two individuals will get together. (RN: This is the romantic in me. I always like the notion of a man/woman will always get together unless there is a tremendous obstacle in their way). Kerrick is every bit brave, smart, tough and can fight very well. In some ways he reminds me of that guy who will do what he can do to survive and prove his loyalty to his prince.
The villains are never really that way. They are complicated and rich with motives of their own. I thought that Synder did a good job of conveying the audience with a bit of sympathy for the other ruler. He wants to make the world better, but doesn’t see his actions as being cruel, but rather a person who is trying to make a difference. Yet as we get a closer look, he’s not good or the person Avery wants to be around.
Avery also learns a bit of herself throughout the journey. There a lot of sick people she meets and heals a lot of them, even though it takes a physical toll on her. I thought that this made Avery a much more likeable heroine. You understand a lot about her nature.
Yet the chemistry between Kerrick and Avery was so good. I was so disappointed in the fact that they didn’t get together exactly, but hoping maybe in the next book they will. Kerrick tells Avery things about himself that he hasn’t told anyone else. Avery finds opening up hard to do given all that she’s been through.
The action was fantastic. I really loved the fight scenes. Every fantasy/quest book has those and this was no exception. I really wanted those scenes to last even longer, but the timing of them was well placed. The ending wanted me leaving more of this fantastic world that Maria V. Snyder has built.