"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R Martin

14 February 2013

Review: Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder

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...
My review of Touch of Power (5*):
Maria V. Snyder might just be my new favourite author right now. She writes such vivid, magical and captivating stories and Touch of Power had me fixated from the beginning. I was completely mesmerised by the highly dramatic story, fixating characters and fantasy setting and couldn’t do anything except read, read and read some more as if I was in a trance. I was constantly kept on my toes, on the edge of my seat. The storyline was utterly engrossing with a fast paced plot and I was taken on a dangerous, exciting and action packed adventure. From the first page I was sucked into the story and didn’t come up for air until the last page.

Touch of Power was an amazing fantasy story and I loved each and every moment. It was unique. I loved the world, the magical elements, the fast paced plot and the amazing, fleshed out characters. The narrative was completely immersive and instantly drew me in. What I loved the most was learning things as Avry and the other characters did. There were secrets, betrayals, lies and surprises waiting to ambush at every corner. Touch of Power was definitely a roller coaster journey emotionally and I loved every moment.

Touch of Power begins with the introduction of Avry, a healer who is in hiding after the Healer’s Guilds persecution, after being blamed for the outbreak of the plague. Incarcerated awaiting execution, Avry is kidnapped from her cell by a group of mysterious men who have been searching for her for quite some time. Forced to follow them, Avry learns that she is needed to heal someone who she despises; Prince Ryne who first blamed the Healer’s for the deadly plague therefore cementing their fates and deaths. Avry is thrust into a world of danger, mystery, betrayal and unlikely friendship.

To make you care for characters in just a few hundred pages is an amazing thing and Snyder does it to perfection. As I read on through the book I quickly came to love the main characters, our fiery protagonist and her band of protectors. I adored Belen and his protective ways, Kerrick and his dark, brooding attitude, Flea with his cheeky nature and Loren and Quain with their scrappy personalities. I grew to love each and every one of them.

I loved Avry. She is strong, brave and feisty but she also has a softer, more compassionate side. With healing magic running through her veins she feels the urge to heal, either friend or foe. She also has a stubborn side and is fiercely independent. She was the perfect female protagonist. As a reader I felt that I instantly bonded with her and grew to adore her as a person. I can’t wait to see how she develops further in Scent of Magic.

I really loved Kerricks character too. At first he comes across as a stubborn and rude man but as the story progresses it becomes clear that there is another layer to his complex character. His loyalty to his men and Prince Rhyne is obvious, showing him to be a devoted, compassionate and honourable man underneath his tough exterior. Kerrick and Avrys relationship was extremely amusing, tempestuous, fiery and full of tension. It was refereshing watching their relationship develop over a period of time, growing in depth and respect. I loved how the story ended and can't wait to see how their relationship develops in the future.

The central villain of the story, Tohon was creepy, sadistic and just super twisted. Dominating, monstrous and callous, he completely freaked me out with his brutal nature and cold, calculating personality. There are also some chilling scenes in the book with the introduction of some deathly 'things' that really sent a shiver down my spine. I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out in the next book with the knowledge that such things exist.

The fantastical world that Snyder created – the Fifteen Kingdoms – was both realistic and magical, with a mix of fantastical elements and a dark story. After a merciless plague ravaged the land, ruthlessly killing a huge percentage of the population, the world descended into chaos. The land is in turmoil and loyalties and confrontations arise and war is brewing on the horizon. One of the elements that I loved most was the descriptions of a world, the forests and nature in general. Everything just seemed so real, so sensual and so alive. I felt as if I could touch and feel the leaves, hear the wind whistling through the trees and feel the forest beneath my feet. Snyder brought the Fifteen Kingdoms to life with completely immersive and magical descriptions.

Touch of Power was simply amazing. A unique and magical fantasy story, I was completely sucked in, adored the characters, feared the villains and loved the fantastical world. I can’t wait to see how the characters develop in the next book and where the story leads. It was just a completely engrossing read and had phenomenal characters. I absolutely loved it! 


  1. Have you read Poison Study by her yet? It's amazing too. Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  2. I read this one recently and I loved it too! It was so incredible and I loved everything about it, especially Avry and Kerrick's relationship and the whole concept of the Death and Peace Lilies. Great review, can't wait to hear what you think about Scent of Magic.


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