Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release date: Paperback 6th April 2012
Target audience: YA / Adult crossover
UK Publisher: Mira
Touch of Power is the first novel in Maria V. Snyder's Avry of Kazan series. It’s a story of persecution, healing magic and survival in the wild landscape of the Fifteen Realms.
Avry of Kazan has been on the run for the last three years. Moving from town to town and hiding from the authorities who persecute her for her healing magic. All Healers are being eliminated because the people believe they started the plague. Avry was ordered not to heal anyone who contracted the plague by the Healer’s Guild. Living isolated from everyone Avry keeps to herself but there is only so long she can stay in a place before her healing instincts take over and she cures a child of a fatal illness. Despite the kindness she shows the local people, they always betray her to the authorities. Usually she slips away before they have a chance to catch her but at the beginning of Touch of Power, she is caught, imprisoned and sentenced to death. Waiting in her cell for her execution, she is surprised by an intimidating man who wishes to help her evade the authorities in exchange for the healing of his friend. It should be simple but the sick man’s identity complicated everything for her.
This is such an exciting and page-turning story. Avry is a stubborn and caring character who endures so much and yet keeps giving. There was a complicated attraction between Avry and Kerrick. I did want them to be together but at the same time I felt uncomfortable about the incident where he struck her. Avry was very strong in her hatred of him and made it clear that violence was unacceptable and not a method of power that would ever weaken her resolve. I also like that Snyder explored other forms of manipulation through the characters of Jael and Tohon.
The friendship between Avry, Belen and Flea was heart-warming and it added humour to the darker moments of the story. I love the way Avry viewed the dynamic between the group. They sort of reminded me of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. My favourite aspect of the story was the forest magic and the lilies. I loved how the author gave the fantasy her own fresh twist.
At the end of Touch of Power there were tears in my eyes. I felt so invested in the story and now I can’t wait to read the next book in the series Scent of Magic. Any book that has you emotionally involved and captivated by where it will go next has to be a must-read. Fantastic fantasy!
Source: Christmas gift
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