Tuesday 24 January 2012

A Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Pages - 390
Published by Mira Books, an imprint of Harlequin in January 2012

The little girl wouldn't stop crying. I didn't blame her. She was dying  after all. Her lungs were so full of fluid she'd drown in another few hours. Tossing and turning on my thin mattress, I listened to her cries as they sawed through the floorboards and through my heart, cutting it in two. 

Goodreads Summary
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...
I have been meaning to read one of Maria V. Snyder's books for a long time, so when I realised she was writing a brand new series I jumped at the chance to read it.  I was not disappointed. In fact I am now in the process of collecting the books from her other series. Touch of Power was an incredible read and one I know I will read again in time. The story is set in a  fantasy world where Avry is forced on a journey to cure someone she would rather stick a knife through. She has no choice but to accompany Kerrick after he saves her life. This book is not about the destination, it is about the journey to get there.

The relationship between Kerrick and Avry is  definitely a love/hate relationship, which has you sucked into the story. Avry is an extremely feisty girl who knows her own mind and will stand her ground. Kerrick, who is used to people obeying him, struggles to cope with her. The sparks that fly between these two lights up the book like firecrackers, creating an excellent side story. I was totally gripped in their arguments and fights. This is the best love/hate relationship I have read about in a long time. When the evil Tohon, joined the story, it was like adding fuel to the fire. He is determined to win Avry, by any method he can, but Kerrick fights him all the way. Now I know I am supposed to detest Tohon, but there was something about him, that really made me like him. I can't put my finger on what it might be, but I have a soft spot for this rather evil man.

Avry was definitely my favourite character in the book. She was just so strong and had very little thought for herself. She healed without  considering her own health. She was determined to help people and take on their illnesses. She showed no fear of dying,even though the worst of the illnesses could kill her. Her mind was just on healing the sick; she risked her life to carry out her destiny. The secondary characters were written beautifully and you came away feeling emotional about Flea and Belen.

The fantasy world created by Maria V. Snyder was completely believable. I found it inventive and original. The idea behind the Peace and Death lilies was just brilliant. I often worry when I read fantasy novels,whether I might not be able to fully absorb the world created by the author, but I couldn't say that was a problem with this book. The plot line with all the twists was fantastic and I was thoroughly absorbed by the story.

This is not a book to be rushed. It is an epic journey that needs to be experienced. I was so disappointed by the end of the book not to have the next one to read.   If you love feisty female characters and a world full of fantasy, then I really think you will enjoy this one.

I think I might be a Maria V. Snyder convert!


  1. I remember Nina reviewing this over at Escape In A Book and she loved it as well. I really have overflowing shelves at the moment, but if I buy this book for my sister I can borrow it later(what a great idea!).

    I love the sound of Avry by the way, lovely review, Vivienne.

    I spy with my little eye share buttons :D Yaaay!

  2. Great review, I love the sound of the concept of this one.

  3. I thought the lilies were peeps in the beginning ;)

  4. This one sounds reeeeally good, definitely want to check it out.

  5. I love the premise of this one but am not a huge fantasy fan so I am still undecided as to read it or not :D

  6. I've got books for this author's other series but like you haven't got around to them yet. I'm liking the sound of this one though.

  7. great review! I wasnt sure whether this one would be for me but I think I might like it now ive read your review!


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