17 January 2012

Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder
Healer #1
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Enjoyable

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.... - Goodreads

Touch of Power was a pretty good book. I love all of Maria’s books, and I really enjoyed this newest one from her.

The Poison Study trilogy is one of my all time favourites, and I was so pleased to learn that Maria was bringing out another fantasy novel. Touch of Power had a very similar feel to Poison Study, and I was incredibly happy about this!

Avry was an awesome character, and I enjoyed reading things from her point of view. However, much like the other characters in this novel, she reminded me a lot of the protagonist in the Study trilogy. Avry is smart, kickass and just generally an all-round good person. Much like Yelena.

As for the love interest, Kerrick, I didn’t like him AT ALL. He was horrible in the beginning, and I just couldn’t get over how he treated Avry. I was going to spoiler block this next bit, but I think it needs to be said... Kerrick lashed out and hit Avry at one point in the novel. This is unacceptable, and the fact that they went on to be lovers really grated on my nerves. If a guy hits me, there is no way I would go on to falling for him or starting a relationship with him. NO WAY. Even if he was stressed, that is no excuse. I am really disappointed in the way their relationship was handled, and I would have loved for Avry to have gone down a different road and fallen for someone unexpected.

The side characters, as mentioned previously, were too much like the characters in the Study trilogy for my liking. I kept comparing them, and the huge similarities were a bit too much for me to handle and I found it to be really distracted.

The villain of the novel was creepy, and pretty awesome. I liked him well enough, and I thought he was a good antagonist for the story.

I loved the fantasy elements of the novel and, as always, Maria V Snyder handles these very well. I can’t describe how much I adored reading about the different types of powers and the people who wielded them. I’m always interested in these types of themes so I was pleased with this!

As usual, Maria’s writing had me hooked from the get go. I’m a HUGE fan of her writing style, and will definitely continue to read everything she comes out with. The world building in this novel was fantastic, and it was an excellent setting for a story such as this one, with all the different plants, conflicts and political challenges. The history of this world was also rich, and I can’t wait to learn more about the Healers in the next book.

I think if you haven’t read the Poison Study books then you’ll adore this novel, but I think those who have read them before will probably see where the plot and where the characters are going. This story was excellent, but it was missing the unique feel that Poison Study had when it pulled me into the world. I’m definitely going to be reading the next books in the series – trilogy? – but I feel I must warn those of you who may be expecting something completely unique.


  1. Thanks for the review Amber!

    I have this on my Kindle thanks to NG too! Need to make some time to read some of my NG titles!

    1. No problem! :D

      Haha, I have SO many NG books to read. I need to get to them ASAP.

  2. Thanks for the review. I haven't heard of this.

  3. Nicely reviewed! Totally agree with you! Ugh, Kerrick bothered me. I was eventually able to swoon for him, but only after pretending his total jerk behavior never happened. Hitting her, tying her to a tree, just awful.

    I agree, the characters did feel like they were all cut from the same cloth as the Poison Study characters (but not as good, I thought). I love those kinds of characters though, so even though I recognize that they weren't that original I let that slide because I had fun with them.

    I ADORED the fantasy elements/world-building though! So fantastic!

    1. Thank you! Haha, I wish I could have pretended it never happened, then I would have enjoyed their relationship a lot more. Heck, I would have actually liked it!

      I preferred the characters in Poison Study, definitely. I'm not sure if that's because I read it and fell in love with them first, but these just didn't give off the same vibe. Or something.

      I can't wait to see more of the world in the sequels! It was my favourite part!

  4. I'm SO glad you mentioned the relationship between Avery and Kerrick. I talked about that specifically on my blog, because I found it absolutely unacceptable.

    1. I've just been over and read your post. LOVE IT. I agree with everything you said.

  5. Squee! I'm SO glad you enjoyed this one, but I have to agree with you: Avry reminded me A LOT of Yelena.

    I was also really dissapointed by Kerrick hitting Avry (NOT. COOL.) but I wonder about the recurring them of violence in Snyder's work... what happened to Yelena prior to the Study series (the guy she killed?), then the recurring kidnaps, then the same in the Glass series (kidnaps and torture), then torture again in the Inside/Out books. It's peculiar. I kind of grew to like Kerrick, but it left a bad taste in my mouth BECAUSE of the violence. That kind of violence is NOT acceptable, and it left me feeling conflicted.

    OMG! How amazing is the villain? he reminded me of Warner from Shatter Me!

    I do agree with you on uniqueness: ToP felt a LOT like Poison Study.

    Ooooh! Do you know Maria's doing an author chat on the HarlequinTEEN Australia Facebook this Friday? http://www.facebook.com/harlequinteenaus SO excited for it. I LOVE Maria.



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