Title: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Length: 390 pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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 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.... -Goodreads
My ThoughtsTouch of Power, the first installment in the Healer series, by Maria V. Snyder is in a word fantastic!
Filled to bursting with prince mages, warring factions, plots, intrigue, a smattering of romance, and with a beautiful young healer at its core; this story has everything that a lover of fantasy could want.
The StoryAvry, is a healer, the last healer in fact. All the others are dead after having been accused of spreading a plague that has taken the lives of millions.
Hunted and trapped, and awaiting her death, Avry finds herself gifted with a most attractive "get out of jail free" card, by the name of Kerrick.
The price of said freedom?
Avery must follow the mysterious Kerrick and his band across treacherous lands and through hostile kingdoms; to heal the man that she believes to be responsible for not only the deaths of healers, but her family as well.
The Who...Why...and Where?Avry proves to be a very strong, smart, and capable heroine. Though it is true that she has an almost uncanny ability to find trouble...or let it find her, you know that in the end, she will find a way out.
Kerrick is a big, strong, smart, sarcastic hunk of puzzle that both readers and Avry get to solve together as the story progresses. It is the mystery surrounding him that keeps readers enthralled for the majority of the read.
Kerrick's Men are quite the diverse band, and some of the most loyal that any leader could have.
The two that stand out among them are:
Flea-the young rogue with the tragic past.
Ballen-the "gentle giant" who is always there to encourage and protect Avry from outside dangers, and Kerrick, when the need arises.
Tohon-the evil ruler bent on controlling everything, killing all who oppose him, and being a general PITA.
There are also several numbered realms, mountains, and kingdoms which prove to be quite confusing as time skirmishes and plots ensue.
That however is the only negative aspect of the wonderful world found within these pages.
The only thing that keeps this book from the 5 star status that it deserves, is the fact that its plot follows a formula that Ms. Snyder seems to subscribe to.
Formula = Heroine with powers + saved from death and pressed into service + training and bonding with capters + adventure + romance = Snyder.
See also Study series.
If you are a reader who loves to lose themselves in adventure, new lands, princes, magic and plots.
This is the read for you!