Publisher: Harlequin (Mira)
Release Date: December 20th, 2011
Series: Healer #1
Cover: A++++-One of my favorites. I love the colors and I would pick this book up even if it wasn’t a Snyder.
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest 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….
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a huge Maria V. Snyder fan. I still say the study series is probably my favorite fantasy series ever. The world-building was fantastic, the characters were rich and extremely well-developed and the story was full of all the originality that should be there in EVERY book I read.
Touch of Power, while it was good, wasn’t nearly on the same level as the Study series. It just wasn’t. The characters weren’t as memorable and the world-building was seriously lax. This upsets me because that’s pretty much the main reason why I love Snyder books so much. I’m not saying it wasn’t a great read because it was, it just felt kind of rushed. I’m not sure if the author is under pressure to write faster and pump out more books or what, but if that plays a factor into what happened here, whoever is pressuring her, STOP!
I just felt like the characters were running through a forest and then a field of death lilies (those were friggin cool by the way), and then a forest again, and so on and so forth. There was nothing special about the setting and that was frustrating. There’s a map at the beginning of the book, and it’s seriously needed. It really shouldn’t be. It’s not all that complicated of a world.
That being said though, I kept reading and I read through it fast, so it must have been a good book. I thought the story was fantastic and I think the series has the potential to be great, but for me it got off to a bit of a shaky start. There were a few memorable characters and some great ideas there, what with the lilies sucking up people and the different kingdoms warring, that really excited me. I also thought all the different types of magicians were fascinating. This is going to make me sound like an uber-dork, but it reminded me of a fantasy role-playing game. I know. Shut up. I’m also interested to see what happens between Avry and her sister. The romance was fun, but it had nothing on Yelena and Valek. And truthfully, nothing probably will ever top Valek for me. He’s just so…perfect.
I’d say read it, as long as you understand that it was a solid effort, but it didn’t top any of her other books. I still give it four stars, because it WAS a good book and if I hadn’t read any of her other work I would probably be shouting from the mountaintops how good it was, but that just wasn’t the case.
Final Note: A solid fantasy novel that is an enjoyable read, but don’t expect it to move mountains for you.
To preorder a copy of Touch of Power from Amazon.com, click here: Touch of Power (Healer)