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.Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by HarlequinAUS on 20th December 2011
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
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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 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.