Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

24 January, 2013 Reviews 14 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. SnyderTouch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by HarlequinAUS on 20th December 2011
Pages: 390
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

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 have never been so wrong.1

I avoided reading this book for a long time. I’d loved Poison Study but the word on the street was that the rest of the Study series wasn’t great and that Poison Study had been beginners luck. But I was kind of blown away by how much I loved Touch of Power. I simply couldn’t put it down and that flabbergasted me.

This is one of those walking fantasy books where the characters spend a LOOOOOOONNNNGGGG TIIIIIIIIiiiimmmmeee goooooooooiiiiiinnnng plaaaaaaaaceeeees.  However, there’s also heaps of action, world-building and just a bit of naughty-no-no shenanigans, so keep that in mind too.  In fact, it was the perfect blend of walking, kick something’s ass, flirt and walk again to keep me glued to the page like some kind of junkee holding out for their next hit.

We’re in this recently plague-ridden world that’s trying to pull itself back together and multiple kingdoms are struggling to reclaim power after many of the old ones have collapsed and fallen.  Avry’s trying to live in this world but the problem is that she’s this badass healer and everyone is trying to kill her.  Enter Kerrick.

He kidnaps her against her will to heal his prince and thus begins our merry adventure.  Let’s start with the fact that Avry kicks butt, I love her and I hope that one day I can find a girl just like her to marry and spend the rest of my life with. Kerrick, on the otherhand, can die a fiery death in the Pit of Despair for all I care.  Avry was too good for you!  Okay, so he eventually became bearable and I eventually stopped plotting his demise.  The point is, when you hold all tickets for the Annoying Douche Train then you need to seriously consider riding it all the way to Getthefuckoutsville, dude.

But, luckily, there is this cast of characters that I just loved with the passion of a thousand One Direction fans who’ve just read a Harry/That scrawny one fanfic.  Belen and Flea particularly were adorable whilst Loren and Quain tended to blend into each other.  It was also the bad guy, Tohan, that kind of helped make this book.  He was so psychotic – swinging like a pendulum between titillatingly evil and just plain terrifying.

The writing was certainly fantastic with rich and vivid descriptions of the countryside and people.  It was very well paced, never boring or painful to read.  The world building was interesting even if there were a couple of strange oddities to construction of Avry’s abilities and the over all way it ties into the story.

But in the end, I was left bereft when this finished.  Desirous of the sequel like a widow who just lost her lover.  In the end, isn’t that what matters most?  Otherwise what are we all here for?

An ARC was provided by the publisher.  No money or favours were exchanged for this review.  I’m still sore about that, actually.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
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14 Responses to “Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder”

  1. elwoodcock
    Twitter:

    You loved Poison Study?? I’m afraid you just lost cred points with me (yeah, I know, you’ll be losing sleep over that, right?)

  2. cynicalsapphire

    Dude, this cover is way better than the US one. Like WAY BETTER, but…it still doesn’t seem quite right for the series. Did Avry have a tattoo? I don’t remember that, though that doesn’t mean much since my mind is like a sieve.
    OMFG, you hate Kerrick? Who are you? You can marry Avry, and I will take Kerrick. Problem solved.
    About the sequel…you have been warned.

    • Kara_M
      Twitter:

      cynicalsapphire You have been warned twice. It was disappointing. Enjoyable enough, but still disappointing. I only hope book three redeems the series for me.

  3. jarndt08

    OMG that Booo GIF is frightening. It may haunt me all day now, thanks for that! I love when a book blows you away and you didn’t expect it at all. I’m not a huge fantasy fan but happy to see you had such a good time with this one!

  4. Annie J
    Twitter:

    I really enjoyed this book also and wanted the sequel right after I finished it.
    It’s interesting, though.  If you do go on and read the rest of the Poison Study you can see the the germ of Avry’s healing abilities in Yelena.  It felt like she sort of had this idea while writing Magic Study and then decided she liked it so much she’d turn it into it’s whole one story.  I didn’t like any of the other Study books as much as I enjoyed Poison Study but I did read them all and there were some interesting things.

  5. Annie J
    Twitter:

    I really enjoyed this book also and wanted the sequel right after I finished it.
    It’s interesting, though.  If you do go on and read the rest of the Poison Study you can see the the germ of Avry’s healing abilities in Yelena.  It felt like she sort of had this idea while writing Magic Study and then decided she liked it so much she’d turn it into it’s whole one story.  I didn’t like any of the other Study books as much as I enjoyed Poison Study but I did read them all and there were some interesting things.

  6. Bookish_Belle

    I’ve had this book for ages and wasn’t sure about it, but it sounds awesome now, actually!

  7. hikarinotenshi93

    I loved Poison Study, but the rest of the series was bleh to me, so I haven’t read any of her books since then. But you make this book sound awesome! I’ll have to give it a try 😀

  8. sazbah

    KAT
     KAT
     KAT
     KAT
     KAT
     KAT. 
    IT MAKES ME STRANGELY AND DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY THAT YOU LIKED THIS SO MUCH.
    OK. Squealing over.
    I really REALLY loved Touch of Power. And the… I started reading Scent of Magic and I was VERY worried… it wasn’t sticking for me. ANYWAY. Few chapters in I completely forgot that and LOVED IT. I also thought Avry was more… independent? Very gooey-lovey eyes, but forced to figure shit out by herself, and I liked that.
    ANYWAY.
    ToP. YES. I LOVED THIS. I think it’s on-par with Poison Study (my fave Snyder book) and it made me happy. I think people are right. Magic and Fire Study = not as good as Poison Study (though not crap, just… dissapointing in comparison) and… it was awesome seeing something THIS GOOD after loving PS so much. I was wondering what you’d make of Kerrick and… yes. I think he redeems himself. The Thing He Did made me VERY uncomfortable, but I also loved that… it’s not justified, and we see growth and development in the love interest, as well as the heroine? IDK. I kind of wanted to hate the book after that, but but but… OK. You know when I said I’d stop squealing? Now I’m just rambling.
    I’m VERY happy you loved it. I can’t wait to see what you make of Scent of magic ^__^
    <3

  9. alexalovesbooks

    I loved this book a whole lot! I’d never read anything by this author before, but after that book, I just knew I needed to keep up with the series. I’ve already read (and loved) the second book a whole lot, and I hope you do as well!

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