Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
(Healer #1)

4 out of 5 stars
Published by Harlequin (MiraBooks)
Review copy received through Netgalley

I’ve always wanted to read on of Maria V. Snyder’s books, so when I got the opportunity to read Touch of Power for review, I jumped on it. I wanted to know what I’ve been missing.

Touch of Power is the story of Avry, a healer in a world where healers are despised. They get the blame of causing the plague that has killed thousands of citizens. When she meets Kerrick and his gang of outcasts, she wants nothing to do with them. But what if she is the only person that can save someone that can save her country?

This is a solid fantasy read. It has an interesting magic system (consisting of healers, forest magic, earth magic, life magic, death magic, etcetera) that has a lot of potential, and there is an interesting conflict. I really liked the concept of this book, but I felt there was something missing.

It felt a bit like it was mixed with a bad paranormal romance. You know, the kind with an excuse of a plot and two characters that are nothing more but cardboard puppets. With a romance that seems unlikely and petty problems that keep them apart. Sometimes I felt a bit of this bad paranormal romance shining through. I didn’t absolutely hate the love interest, but I didn’t like him either. I guess I’m just not the person for hate-to-love kind of stories. I was rooting for the big teddy guy, but he never stood a chance.

I also feel like at times there are some plot holes. My main one annoys me quite a bit. When someone has the plague (which is highly contagious) they don’t take any precautions to not attract the plague. They just act like nothing is wrong at all. I can’t imagine that a person that has seen dozens of people die of the same illness can just stand next to someone that has that contagious disease. I don’t know, doesn’t seem plausible to me at all.

The reason I give Touch of Power a high rating even though I didn’t really like the love interest and was a bit irritated by the holes in the story, is that it is a very engaging read. You just have to know what will happen next, because anything can happen. I also enjoyed as a person that has read her fair share of fantasy, that it offers a different take on something that has been done countless times.

The story doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but there are more than enough story lines to make a second book in this series. I’m looking forward to read that one, and to see if the problems I have with this book are just a one time thing, or something structural.

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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…

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