Blog Tour: Book review - Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power is the first book in the new Avry of Kazan series by Maria V. Snyder. It was published by Mira on 20th December 2011 and the book is 400 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot
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 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....

What I thought
Although I have other books by this author, I have yet to read them – which now I think is very unfortunate. As soon as the emailed arrived about this book though, I got excited. It sounded completely different than the other books I have been reading recently and I was desperate for something else.

Touch of Power begins full of excitement, instantly hooking me into the story. Avry, the main character, is a healer. While this should be a good thing, it isn't. People hate healers, blaming them for the plague and the state the world is currently in. The is a price on the head of any healer which means Avry is constantly on the run. At the point where the book starts, Avry is staying with a family who have an extremely sick child. She knows she shouldn't use her powers to heal the child but Avry can't help herself. Unfortunately, while the family are grateful, they have no problem ratting her out. After being captured, being prepared to die, Avry is rescued by a group of travellers who want her to use her power to heal a Prince, whom she hates.

From here, I understood just how much of an amazing character Avry was. Although she had just been rescued and saved from death, she refuses to go along with what the travellers want. She hates the Prince in question and flat out refuses to heal him, no matter what. Avry is feisty, strong and extremely clever, knowing that she is only being used. As she spends more time with the group of travellers, being dragged around for miles and miles, she gets more used to them, getting to know them. Finally, she finds friends in Loren, Quain, Flea and Belen. She teaches them things in return for being taught how to fight and how to handle a set of daggers. The only person she cannot bring herself to like, or even stand, is Kerrick.

I really didn't like Kerrick for the majority of this book. Even as the main male character, I hated him. He was rude, arrogant and especially mean to Avry. Unlike the others in his group, he showed no respect for Avry whatsoever and expected her to do what he wanted without even as much as a good reason. Or even saying please. Avry had no problem showing her hatred for Kerrick either and I loved her for that. As the story went on though, I found myself liking him more and more and I really didn't want to. There were tiny little moments where I could see something change in him and I could see why he acted in certain ways and the reasons behind his toughness.

Not only is there a whole range of fantastic characters to get to know and love but also a very serious side to the story. With the fifteen kingdoms in trouble, there is a lot about the politics of the realm but it is never too much. I quite enjoyed learning about the different power struggles, the ways in which people thought they could make everything better and also wondering to myself who I think would be best in charge of everything. Once there were different rulers of different parts of the land but due to the current situation, things went from bad to worse and with Prince Ryne unable to move, Tohon has taken it upon himself to rule everything.

The parts of the story concerning Tohon were amazing. He is the epitome of evil and one of the best bad guys I have read about in a long time. Not wanting to ruin the story, I will say that Tohon has powers of his own and these make him into the great bad guy that he really is. There was something about this character that made my skin crawl, that made me want to hit him over the head with something and knock him out. Still, I loved him. He made the book a lot more interesting and a lot more exciting, even with so much going on already.

As well as a lot of excitement, there are also a few mysteries to be solved. Secrets are hidden all over the place in this book and I loved being kept waiting for answers, while being impatient for them at the same time. Avry has been on the run for years and has no idea what has become of most of her family. Why does she hate Prince Ryne so much? Why is Kerrick the way he is? What was the real cause of the plague and why are healers hated so much? Maria V. Snyder really throws in everything possible to make this an amazing book. There is love, death, hatred and passion as well as intrigue and mystery. I loved every single page of this one!!

1 comment:

  1. I have rather a soft spot for Tohon too.Maria has written him as a character you want to hate but can't help loving just a little bit. I LOVED Kerrick too! An amazing book!

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