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Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 Stars: Incredible
Series: Healer #1
Paperback: 390 Pages
Publication: December 20, 2011 by Mira Books

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….
Happy release date for Touch of Power!

Reading this book reminded me why I love fantasy stories. Maria V. Snyder has crafted a beautiful, damaged land that has suffered from a plague of unknown origins. The imagery is rich and vibrant with details that bring the world to life. Along with the delightful cast of characters, I was absorbed in the story from start to finish.

Avry, Kerrick, and his men are all so different and special in their own ways, and somehow they come to resemble a family of sorts. Avry a strong young woman with a survival instinct sharpened from years on the run, hunted because of the bounty offered for Healers. She is intelligent and a quick learner. Initially, she and Kerrick tick each other off because he keeps trying to give orders that she won't follow. Belen is the benevolent father figure, Quain and Vinn are the troublemakers, and Flea is the kid trying to prove a man of himself.

The peace of the world is at stake. With Avry as the last known Healer, only she can heal the one man Kerrick believes can prevent war from breaking out and destroying the order. However, Avry will lose her life in the process, something that Kerrick doesn't seem to care about. You would think that it would be impossible for the two to come to like each other. I wouldn't like him if I were in Avry's position, and it wouldn't appear that Kerrick could come to care for her either. It was interesting to watch their relationship progress.

I am so glad that Touch of Power is the first in a planned series. One book is not enough to tell the full of this story. War is imminent, and there is a mystery that comes up at the end that needs solving.

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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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