Monday, 27 February 2012

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira
Series: #1 in the Healer series
Pages: 390
Published in: 2011

(This copy was obtained via NetGalley for review)

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.... (from Goodreads)

My thoughts

This is the second series I have read by Maria V. Snyder - the other one being the Study series - and I have to say it definitely did not dissappoint! In this story, which is also a fantasy one, we meet Avry, who is a Healer in a period of time when being a Healer is not the safest of things. Due to the fact that Healers were rumoured to have spread a deadly plague all over the world, they have been hunted down and killed. As such, Avry is one of the last ones alive and there is a price on her head. But she ends up being captured and then abducted by a group of men who are in desperate need of her skills (as opposed to the prize which accompanies her capture). And of course, just to make everything interesting, while the group are on their way to heal the plague-stricken prince mentioned in the summary, lots pretty dangerous and deadly stuff happen.

What I enjoyed the most out of this book - in all honesty - was Maria Snyder's writing. As had happened with her Study series, I found that her writing just drew me into the story; made me feel as if I was actually there, right next to the characters; sometimes that I was actually seeing everything through Avry's eyes - that I was Avry. All the descriptions of the villages, of the forest, of the trip they had to take to get to the Prince, it all felt real. 

Another thing that felt really real and logical was the way Avry could heal. It only makes sense that to heal a person, you assume their injuries and then try to fight them yourself. That they don't "just go away". That way you could really appreciate what being a Healer actually means. It means that you have to "want" to do it, because, essentially, it means fighting a lot of pain - which you might not be able to fight to the end. To me, that just made sense.

Then, there is also the small matter of the love interest. From the word go (well, not exactly, but you know what I mean), you know who the love interest is going to be. You can see all the tension, you know that eventually it is going to happen, but it keeps NOT happening. Again and again, there are those perfect moments where you think "Finally!", but then something else (usually rather dire) happens. This part did remind me somewhat of Poison Study - where it was obvious from the beginning that something was going to happen between Valek and Yelena - but it didn't really bother me at all. Seeing as it is do far away from that dreaded "insta-romance" thing.

All in all, Touch of Power was a very enjoyable read and definitely lived up to my expectations of Maria V. Snyder. I still haven't read her Glass series and her Insider series, though that is something I intend to remedy as soon as possible!

For more information about the author and her other books, check out her website.
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