Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power
(Healer #1)
By: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira
Published: Dec. 20, 2011
Genre: YA

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Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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…



Avry is the last of her kind. A healer who was once praised but is now feared and hunted as being the cause of the plague. The night before meeting her fate with the guillotine, a crew of men come bursting into the jail and free her. The one thing they ask in return for her freedom is to heal their friend who has the plague. However, once Avry finds out who the “friend” is she is hell bent on doing anything BUT heal him. It’s up to the guys to convince her but it’s hard to do when you are being hunted by not only one ruler of the Fifteen Realms but two rulers.

The world Snyder creates is amazing. She really knows her way around words and can instantly take the reader into her world with ease. I was a little skeptical on reading this novel, I thought it would be a mediocre YA novel but the story that Snyder wove instantly captures you. She has the perfect balance of details without being too wordy, witty dialogue and a slow kindling romance in the background.

Avry is an independent woman. She has been on the run for a couple of years now and knows how to take care of herself. So she doesn’t take too kindly to Kerrick and how demanding he is. He is not a soft nor gentle man. He demands attention and respect and has no qualms about tying Avry up to a tree every night with no provisions, in hopes that she will crack and help them out on their mission. What he doesn’t know, is that Avry is just as strong willed and stubborn as he is. They butt heads a lot and the romance isn’t a forefront to the storyline at all. Kerrick is not a flamboyant character and you have to really pay attention to see him start to soften up. You start to notice slight changes in his character when he stops viewing Avry as “the last healer” and more as Avry the woman. He doesn’t profuse his love for her by throwing rose petals at her feet or by giving jumping up and down screaming “I LOVE AVRY!!”. Instead he may give her a blanket when tied up or take a flogging for not revealing her whereabouts to the enemy.

This story flowed a lot like Poison Study. You have a feisty heroin who is in a bind and a brooding male who is pretty much her captor. However, I enjoyed the action that this novel had as well as the addition of the gang (Flea, Vinn, Quain and Belen). With having the extra characters as well as the constant traveling and fighting, it really took a step up from the other novel. Do I even need to mention the gorgeous cover?

“Oh you made an impression. Like a stone caught in my boot.” -Kerrick


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