Maria V. Snyder
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
Source: Own the ebook on my Kindle.
Synopsis: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured 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, the 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.
As soon as I realized I was in dire need of a high fantasy novel, I stumbled upon this book on my TBR list and downloaded it onto my Kindle then and there. Even before I began reading it, I knew ‘Touch of Power’ would be perfect, because 1) it’s written by Maria V. Snyder, and I absolutely LOVED ‘Poison Study’, and 2) because I was definitely in the mood for everything the synopsis offered. Then I started reading the book, and page by page, I grew more and more in love with the book.
One of the things I loved most about the novel was the one-of-a-kind heroine, Avry. Besides the fact that she is the only healer left in all of the 15 realms, she’s also the type of person to make all the wrong assumptions about her “enigmatic captor-protector”, and everyone knows that incorrect assumptions make for the best romances! I also adored the girl because she was crazy selfless, sickening herself over and over again – oftentimes to the brink of death – to save several of her “kidnappers”. She also got on Kerrick’s nerves all the times, and those scenes were always the best (Kerrick just so happens to be the captor-protector discussed earlier).
The world-building was just right – there wasn’t too much information or too little – and each character’s personality stayed consistent throughout the novel. Also, the ending was a surprise. I figured that eventually Avry would agree to heal Ryne, but as to how she would heal herself/get healed, I had no clue. Well, that’s a lie. I had plenty of ideas, but none of them turned out to be true. One of my ideas was actually that sex with Kerrick would heal Avry. Crazy, I know, but a similar thing happened in ‘Grave Mercy’ so I figured it could happen again. In truth, it’s nice to not be able to guess everything once in a while, so I guess that’s another point in the novel’s favor.
And that’s pretty much all there is to say about this book. It’s your standard – but highly enjoyable – high fantasy novel. It met all my expectations, and I couldn’t stopped reading it (and trust me, I tried). I grew very attached to the characters throughout the novel, and was plain disgusted by Tohon, the evil dictator-like man. Overall, ‘Touch of Power’ is a great start to the Healer series, and I’d recommend it to fans of high fantasy, magic, and romance. I really enjoyed the novel, but when taking a step back from my emotional self, I don’t think it’s very memorable. I don’t think it really stands out.
“There they are,” a voice called.
I froze, but Kerrick seized my shoulders, ordered me to stay quiet and flung us to the ground. We rolled through the underbrush. A strange vibration pulsed through my body. The sounds of pursuit approached. Convinced they would trample us, I clung to him as my world spun. We halted with me flat on my back.
Kerrick covered me from view. He kept most of his weight on his elbows. He peered to our right.
Shadows bounced as boots stepped near us. A few watchmen came within inches.
My throat itched with the need to cough. I suppressed the overwhelming desire to squirm, to yell, to scratch. Then the rustling of leaves and tread of boots faded. I relaxed, but Kerrick kept his protective position.
“Once they realize they lost us, they will come back,” he said.
So I remained still despite the cold dampness from the recent rains soaking into my clothes.
Despite Kerrick‟s warm body pressed against mine. Despite his intoxicating scent tickling my nose. He smelled of living green, moist earth and spring sunshine. Two of the three made sense, since leaves and dirt covered his clothes as well as mine. I couldn‟t explain the sunshine. The fall season was in full swing. I suspected my lack of sleep played a role in altering my senses.
When we reached the door, Belen stepped in the way. “If any harm—”
“Comes to her, you‟ll rip out my arms. Got it,” Kerrick said.
“I‟m serious,” Belen said.
“I know. Do you really think I‟d put her in danger?”
“Not on purpose, but things happen that are beyond even your control.” Kerrick gave him a tight smile. “You mean I‟m not omnipotent?”
“You‟re not even semipotent.”
“Is that even a word?” Kerrick asked.
“He probably meant you‟re impotent,” I offered.
It was worth Kerrick‟s glare to hear Belen‟s deep chuckle. He pushed Belen aside. The big man‟s laughter followed us as we left the inn.
While I was gone, Bianca—the girl with the fading bruises—Peni and Melina had dragged the unconscious men into the hideout. They‟d shackled the men to the cots in the back room and locked the door. Nice.
Empowered, they discussed what they‟d like to do to the men in great detail. Kerrick muffled a horrified croak.
Rating: 4 little fishies!