Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

Was everyone else as excited as I was for another Maria V Snyder novel? I’ve been in love with her since I first picked up Poison Study early last year. Luckily for me, as I read through her collection, everything so far had been published and completed. It’s already killing me that Touch of Power is the start of a new series and I can’t immediately start reading the next book!

Touch of Power is the story of Avry, the last surviving healer of the Fifteen Realms, a world in pieces after its population has been decimated by a magically resistant plague. Living on the run hasn’t been easy for Avry who is itching to heal those in need, and when she reveals her powers by saving the life of a two year old girl, Avry is sent to the gallows…only to be abducted to cure their Prince of the plague.

What I Liked: Snyder’s characters want to be my best friends, and I want to be theirs. I think Avry rivals Yelena for my favourite Snyder heroine. Unlike Yelena, she was plucky from the beginning, and she was serious about using her magic to help.
The story was unique. I kept getting a familiar vibe from it though that drove me crazy for awhile. When I started reading I kept thinking that the idea of healers being victimised for their power was strangely similar to her other book, but when I tried to work out which one, I couldn’t. Finally I realised it reminded me of Janice Hardy’s Healing Wars! The idea of healers being reviled for their power and blamed for spreading disease.
Otherwise, the plot was completely new to me and I loved it! Snyder has a beautiful imagination and I wished I could have looked at the rows of Peace and Death Lilies. I even want to be friends with her abductors!

What I Didn’t Like: I felt like a few of the revelations at the end, and Avry’s decision about Ryne, were quite rushed. I missed one or two of them and had to scan backwards to find them.

The sequel Scent of Magic is expected out next year (a whole year!) and I look forward to running with the gang again soon.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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