Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Published Date: December 20th, 2011
Finished Date: October 4th, 2011
Publishers: Harlequin

Format: eARC from Netgalley
Series: Healer/The Power Book One
Blurb from Goodreads:
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

I have never really been taken by the whole Fantasy genre with their olden kingdom politics and magicians running amok, bonding together, rebel against some crazy, evil king, then The End. But this, this book has changed my perception of it.

(Fanasy novels conain much world-building and plot details, and since this book is no exception, I shall try my best to give a short and succinct summary. Doubt I can tho..IT WAS SO EVENTFUL!)

Healers were once a respected group of individuals, but ever since the plague swept thru the entire Fifteen Realms and wiped out two-thirds of their entire population (woah, bubonic plague much?), people grew panicked and fingers started to point. Now, the healers are believed to be murderers, earning themselves bounties placed upon their heads. They were hunted down and executed by the people they loved or by their friends, and by the people in the towns where they have lived in and whose people they helped healed, to near extinction.

In the midst of all this, Avry, a healer, a fugitive, and the last of her kind, has been running and hiding almost all her life, but after healing a child in one of the villages she stopped in, she was betrayed and handed to the authorities. However that night in the cell that she was given, a mysterious man and several of his companions broke her out and is forcing her to heal his friend, Prince Ryne.

Thing is, Prince Ryne is a terrible tyrant, or so Avry first thought, and she refused Kerrick's (mysterious guy's) "request". Well, more of a demand, really. When she refused, he made her his prisoner. Obviously that didn't pull any sway to her decision, but she gradually grew comfortable with his groupies, all very loyal and very hospitable. They grew to be like family, and she is starting to doubt the rumors that has helped shaped her perception of Ryne. It's not all easy-going and simple obstacles, not all happy-gayness and daisies, the other factions are becoming more aggressive and they are very eager to unite the Fifteen Realms - to put it more shrewdly, they are ambitious little bastards who wanted more land to rule. And how much more powerful can they get if they had the last remaining healer on their side?

I loved it how Snyder didn't rush thru with the romance. (Sorry I kinda always start off with the romance part of the books I review. What can I say? I'm a romantic person. Lol, pfft. Yeah right, coming from a person who have never had a bf. Heh. Confessions of a nun, huh.XP No offense meant to any nuns out there) Lover boy and Avry started out hating each other, but we all know that they were going to end up together, so it was fun watching them piss each other off. She dragged out the tension between them, Lover Boy only softening towards her about a little more than halfway thru the novel, but when they finally admitted their feelings for each other.. Wow, you'll be thinking how worth the wait was. It was amazing, magical, and one of the sweetest love scenes I've seen in a long while.

Example: " “You need to disappear. If he finds you…” I shooed him away then turned to find the path.

“Avry,” Kerrick said.

I stopped. He stepped behind me. I felt his warmth on my bare back and I resisted the urge to lean against him.

“Tohon isn’t mistaken.” Kerrick traced one of the scars along my shoulder blade. “I would be…upset if he succeeded in luring you away.” "

Tohon's the antagonist by the way. Very evil, very crazy, very greedy, and very powerful. A very dangerous combination. What's worse is that he isn't all old, wrinkly and gnarled, clawed hands. Instead, he was so very handsome, and his charming personality a terrifying arsenal that he uses with ease. He even convinced me at some points that he was one of the good guys! So handsome and smart.. Too bad he's got a black heart..

I liked Avry a lot. She was smart, very smart actually, very brave, very righteous, just, compassionate, witty, and self-sacrificing.

I thought that the plot and storyline were very convincing and believable for a Fantasy novel. Very political and there were the usual amounts of skirmishes between the countries, bounty hunters, merceneries, etc.

I loved Snyder's humor and wit in TOUCH OF POWER. It's so........fantasy-like. Lol, um duh, yes I know. But well, it's such a cute way of putting things. Cute, yes, that's the word I was searching for. A cute, witty humor.

Example: " When we reached the door, Belen stepped in the way. “If any harm—”

“Comes to her, you’ll rip out my arms. Got it,” Kerrick said.

“I’m serious,” Belen said.

“I know. Do you really think I’d put her in danger?”

“Not on purpose, but things happen that are beyond even your control.”

 Kerrick gave him a tight smile. “You mean I’m not omni-potent?”

 “You’re not even semi-potent.”

“Is that even a word?” Kerrick asked.

 “He probably meant you’re impotent,” I offered.

 It was worth Kerrick’s glare to hear Belen’s deep chuckle. "

Cute, right?

One little thing that I noticed. Even tho we're constantly in Avry's head, Snyder doesn't reveal everything that she's thinking nor about everything that had happened in the past. It's effective in building up the suspense and adding in the thrill factor. It's cool. Just a little thing that I picked out that other novels seem to not be able to duplicate. Nothing major.

I've told you that I don't usually like Fantasy novels, right? I'll tell you why I loved this book: Snyder can WRITE. Even tho the plot wasn't all that different to any other Fantasy novels, it never, never got boring. Her description of the lush forests, the adrenaline-pumping actions scenes, and romantic scenes... They were absolutely, wonderfully delivered, and her words carried me to the end. Will definitely try her other series (I think it is called Poison series) soon!

Anyway, I loved it, and would recommend this to all Fantasy fans. Maybe if you would like to tone down on the gore and eroticism factor, you can try this YA Fantasy one! :)

*This eARC was provided by Netgalley and from Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.*

My Rating


  1. Aaah I got this from NetGalley too! Can't wait to read it!!

    1. Ohhh! Go read it!! NOWWW! Haha, then tell me what you think of the book. :P


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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