Title: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, magic, adventure
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: December 2011
Pages: 390 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
The price of peace may well be her life…
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured 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 rogue 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, the 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.
Avry of Kazan – a healer on the run ever since the Plague started three years ago and the people turned against those with the power to heal. After an incident lands Avry in a jail cell and a date with her death in the morning, a stranger offers Avry a choice. She can come with him and save his friend or keep her appointment with the gallows.
Taking Kerrick of Alga up on his deal, Avry joins his warriors as they make their way though many of the Fifteen Realms facing assassins and magicians on an adventure Avry never saw coming.
This book is the kind of adventure fantasy book that I adore. There’s action and drama. Despite the time frame of this novel taking months and there being down time in between deathly feats, there was never a boring moment during the entire book.
Avry is a kick arse heroine. She’s strong in spirit and can hold her own against Kerrick and his bunch of merry men but she knows how to follow orders when completely necessary. The Monkeys (Quain and Loren), Papa Bear (Belen) and Flea are absolutely fantastic. They provide much necessary comic relief – not only to the reader but also to the other characters.
The magic in this book is fascinating. The eleven different types and the magicians who control them are well thought out. I thought the mages were especially intriguing. Jael, Tohon, Sepp and the others are characters that I loved reading about not just for their personalities but for their powers and how they worked.
There’s so much going on in this book – the current political power struggle, magic, the back story between the royals of the Realms, healers and the Plague – but Synder managed to write it all in such a way that made perfect sense. There were times when I felt like Kerrick’s group were wandering mindlessly for a while before something new happened and they had new purpose but for the most part I loved how everything come together.
Touch of Power is the first book in the Healer series with the second, Scent of Magic, being released in January 2013 by HarlequinTeen.
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