Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Early Review: Touch of Power

Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan 1)
-       Maria V Snyder
Publisher: MIRA Books - Published on 27th December 2011
E-Arc with thanks to netgalley and Mira
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....
Maria V Snyder is one of my favourite authors and with this new book, she has created new world with new magic and new politics to worry about – and a new series I love!. Avry is the last healer and is in hiding after a plague spread throughout the land decimating the population. The Healers were blamed for it so she has to avoid using her powers in order to survive until she heals one sick child. From then on she is hunted and chased and dragged across the country as everyone wants her to use her healing powers. The trouble is healing isn’t without a cost...
This is a very easy to read book and I swept through the pages in no time. There is a lot happening with the world being set up, different political factions, new types of magic and it feels very much like the beginning of a trilogy with many elements introduced but not resolved. This does make me want to read the next books, but can be frustrating for those who want everything self contained. That said, there is a progression with Avry in this books as she becomes more involved in what is happening in the wider world rather than just hiding. Avry is a great character – she suffers for every person she heals, taking on their injuries. Luckily her body is able to fight and repair itself faster than most people.
I loved the banter and relationships that develop between Avry and her travelling companions which adds both fun and depth to the story. The peace and death lilies are intriguing and I’m sure they are will be explored more in the future. Overall, this is an easy going, non-taxing fantasy with plenty of fun despite some truly disturbing ideas – the main villain is enough to make you squirm uncomfortably in your chair. This type of fantasy just allows you be immersed in the world and to follow characters that you like through all their trials and tribulations – a fun jouney!
I seem to be on a run recently with good books and have really been enjoying myself reading – long may it continue! J
Recommended for fans of Robin Hobb and Emily Gee. 8 out of 10.


  1. this cover is beautiful! I really enjoy the Maria C snyder's books too. It's always so interesting to discover a new world.

  2. I'm a big fan of Maria V Snyder too! I also loved the banter and relationships between Avry and her companions. <3 I LOVED this book, it's just as awesome as her Study series!

  3. I enjoyed the plot of this one, but my main complaint when I read it was that the tone of the writing didn't seem to match with the themes. The themes and many of the events suggested that it was a mid- to older-teen audience, while the tone and the way the author seemed to assume the reader would have a serious lack of foresight and ability to put plot elements together made it feel like it was written for a younger audience. The two things not meshing were what spoiled the book for me. Shame, because I'd heard so many good things about this author and her writing.

    Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and you're definitely right that the banter between Avry and most of the other characters was pure gold!

  4. And I liked the baddie, yes I am strange, but I just did not feel he was any badder then rest :)

  5. I loved Avry, but I hated Kerrick. My review is tomorrow, but I have to admit, I still haven't forgiven Kerrick. >:(

  6. Oh, i totally agree, Mel! It was an easy read, Snyder's writing is very compelling. Also the death lilies were my favorite part of the plot :) Great review!