Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer, #1
Publisher: Mira (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: December 20th, 2011
Source: eARC via Netgalley
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….
Touch of Power was definitely a unique and fun world to jump into. Even after reading the description, I was a little fuzzy about what it was about exactly, but I couldn’t pass up the cover! I’m glad I didn’t because this was definitely a good read and it’s been a long time since I’ve read a full-blown fantasy (not urban fantasy) novel. It is hard to define if it’s young adult or not though. The main character and those around her are between 20-30 years old, so definitely not teenagers. If you’re a young adult only kind of reader, I would say give it a shot though. There’s really no more intimacy than you would find in a young adult novel and everything else reads like one as well.
What I loved most about Touch of Power was probably the adventure aspect of it. I really love a book that has a journey the main characters are on. It just makes the world feel bigger because we get glimpses of different areas and can form a larger picture. I also really loved the magic, not only with the various sorcerers, but also with the world around them. Everything was so different and fun to discover.
The one downside is that, as with a lot of journey-filled books, there were definitely times where the book seemed to drag. It wasn’t that bad though, and in between the slower moments we got lots of action so it balanced out pretty well. The other downside (for me) is that it’s going to be a series. Normally I’m all over a new series, but after reading this one in it’s entirety I feel like it should be a stand-alone book. It left off with some mysteries as to what would happen in the future, but I don’t think they needed elaborating on. I think it would almost be better to let our imagination fill in the blanks. I’ll be curious to see how the world builds and grows in the next books, but I don’t feel like they’re necessary.
Overall though this was a great book. If you’re a fan of fantasy and magic then you’ll certainly need to pick this one up. I’ve been eyeing Snyder’s Study series for awhile now and this has definitely given me an oomph to try it. Loved her writing style, the mystery, magic, and world she’s built.
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