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Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder ARC {4 Stars}

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder is the first book in the Healer series which I have been meaning to read FOREVER! I love healers (I was totally a heals druid in WoW and now want to go start raiding again, must resist!), I’ve heard such amazing things about Snyder’s writing and stories, and the cover is sooooo pretty! Oh and I’ve had a copy for months since I grabbed it when my friend was clearing out old ARCs ;-). Fortunately, Touch of Power completely lived up to my expectations and I’m freaking pumped to keep reading this series. That’s the benefit of most of the books already being out right??

Note: I received borrowed an ARC of Touch of Power. Some things might have changed in the final version.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder ARC {4 Stars}

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (Healer #1)
Published by Harlequin MIRA on December 20th, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 390 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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....

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • I’m generally a hater on broody boys turning in to the love interest, but Touch of Power takes place over quite a bit of time and so the relationship develops slowly, believably and so adorably! I was very adamantly against this romance at first and Kerrick even won this crotchety old grouch over by the end ;-).
  • I love the classic magic systems of earth, air, life, death, etc. However, they have to be done in a new way otherwise it’s just lazy right? Fortunately, Touch of Power does a marvelous job of tweaking the classic magic system (adding moon magic for one thing :D) so I wasn’t disappointed! We only get glimpses into what powers are involved in each type of magic, so I’m really excited to find out more in the subsequent books :D.
  • I knew that the ending couldn’t be as sad as it was aiming to be since there is a sequel, but I was actually quite impressed with how Snyder ended up solving everything. I hadn’t predicted it but it made a fair amount of sense :D. It also has opened the way for some really interesting discovery and research for Avry in future books!
  • As we all know, I’m a fan of characters dying in meaningful plot points and Touch of Power doesn’t hold back from those grittier and darker aspects of life-or-death situations.

Weaknesses:

  •  Touch of Power had slow points where I found my attention drifting, so just push through if you have the patience.
  • There are a fair amount of times when Touch of Power skipped over chunks of time (days to weeks) by just saying that things continued as they were for a while. It felt a bit forced to me, though I can’t really think of a better way to handle that.
  • There is some trigger stuff regarding manipulative and forceful romantic interaction, though it doesn’t go too far.
  • Avry and the other characters would at times use words that seemed rather modern for the fantasy setting and made me pause for a second. I suppose I can’t say that characters in a fantasy world wouldn’t use slang like we do, but it pulls you out of the story ya know?

Summary:

Touch of Power really hits on some of my favorite elements of the classic magical fantasy story with healing powers, an epic quest, insane villains, and more magic to discover. I found the whole post-apocalypse element really fascinating as well, since everything is happening a few years after a plague has decimated the world. There is so much left to discover about the plague, Avry’s magic, and Avry and Kerrick’s feelings for each other that I think I might have to start Scent of Magic pretty darn soon >.>

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Wow this book sounds really good! I like when love interest develop too. I love how you give clear strengths and weaknesses. I’m going to have to add this to my list!!
    Heather recently posted…Feature Follow Friday #5My Profile

  2. I am on the fence about whether I want to read this series. I adored Poison Study, but was quite disappointed with Magic Study and Fire Study. I’ve heard that Poison Study is Snyder’s best work, and seeing the efforts of two of her other books makes me pause. I WANT to read more of her works, but I don’t want to end up disappointed. What a conundrum!
    Glad this one worked out for you, though, Anya!
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Review: Control by Lydia KangMy Profile

    • This series ended up the same way for me, where the second two books were only meh. You could probably skip, though it’s always hard to tell what you will adore sometimes ;-)

  3. I have been wanting to read this one for ever too! In fact,I *just* ordered it with some Holiday gift cards a few days ago! So yeah, I pretty much bounced up and down when I saw you reviewed it :D I am so happy that the magical system has originality to it while having it’s foundation rooted in classic magic ♥ And I’m glad still ended up pleased with the romantic aspect of it! I especially liked your comment about the plot not shying away from the dark and gritty stuff! Woot!

    I’m even more excited now for this one to show up in my mailbox now! Lovely review Anya^^
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…2013 Year End Wrap-UpMy Profile

  4. I’ve been wanting to read this for quite some time too. I’m glad you ended up liking it! I’ve recently been playing Guild Wars, but could never really get into WoW.
    DoingDewey recently posted…The Yellow Eyes of CrocodilesMy Profile

    • Oh Guild Wars, haha. I was so excited for 2 since it looked like it was really going to push gaming forward, have you played 2?

      • I have and I really enjoy it! I don’t have many friends who play, so I haven’t been playing as much as I like, but hopefully I’ll get back to it soon :)
        DoingDewey recently posted…The Yellow Eyes of CrocodilesMy Profile

        • Nice, I have a mac now so I don’t think I can play (it’s still windows only?)

          • From the guildwars page where you can buy the game, it kind of sounds like the mac version is still in beta >< Hopefully they'll get a full release out soon, although it sounds as though you aren't still playing WoW, so perhaps you're not looking for an MMO anyway. If you were though, I'd recommend giving it a try once a full release is out. The not paying by the month thing is great if you're sometimes too busy to play.

          • Hehe, nope, I can’t play MMOs and book blog at the same time, at least until I become independently wealthy ;-)

  5. Hah! That’s where my Twitter name, leaflette, comes from – I raided as a resto druid for a looooooooong time. Now I’m rocking a shaman.

    I thought the post-apocalyptic setting was one of the better parts of this book. And all the different types of magic.

    • Woot! I always tried to level up another healer, but it never worked >.> I have a level 40 something shaman just chilling out, haha.

      Agreed, I completely loved that we were in a plague-ravaged fantasy world, a lot different than most fantasy! I just wish we had been told what moon magic involved >.>

      • Are you still playing? I keep debating off and on to stop again, but it’s a nice mind relaxation so…

        Yeah, the impression in the book is that moon magic was useless, but I just read another (Poison Princess by Kresley Cole) where moon related stuff was sort of powerful. I dunno, I always like to see how all aspects of a magic system work, not just the ones the MCs have.

        • Nope, I basically have to choose between blogging and playing, since I obsess and spend all my time on whichever I choose ;-)

  6. I’m reading Scent Of Magic right now and it’s amazing! I think it’s definitely a lot more intriguing than Touch Of Power. :D
    Laura @ Music Plus Books recently posted…Book Review: Touch Of Power by Maria V. SnyderMy Profile

  7. I definitely agree about Kerrick! No instalove in sight :)
    And I noticed the slang as well! It’s strange because Snyder almost uses a modern tone for the whole series, rather than the somewhat formal tone usually used for high fantasy. I didn’t mind it personally, though.
    Nara recently posted…ARC Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. SnyderMy Profile

    • Exactly, it’s a fantasy world so I suppose they can talk however they want, but it makes it hard for my brain to stay in fantasy mode I guess ;-)

  8. Not much to say about the book, but I laughed because I didn’t know anyone enjoyed being a healing druid. I made a new character end game because there was no way I was standing in a raid and healing people. Ah, good times.
    Nathan (@ReviewBarn) recently posted…The 2014 Barney Awards: Day 1My Profile

    • Omg I loved being a healer :D I took great pride in my horrendous tree form too ;-P Healing very much fit my personality ya know, I didn’t worry about pushing my damage, I just made sure I stood in the right spot and watched my addon bars for everyone. Gah, can’t talk about it too much since it makes me want to play again!

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