[ Book Review ] When being a healer is a death sentence.

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

When the plague broke out, the healers could do nothing for the sickness, and so were blamed for it. Three years later, Avry – once an apprentice healer, now a fugitive – is on the run, hunted because of what she is. But when she is finally caught by an armed group, Kerrick, their leader, doesn’t want her for the bounty. He doesn’t want her dead–at least, not until she does one more healing for him. And the person Kerrick wants healed? Prince Ryne, a man Avry would rather die than save.

Avry is the kind of smart, tough heroine that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing in Snyder’s novels. As Avry finds herself trekking across the lands, dodging mercenaries and the deadly creatures that decimate the landscape, she is forced into uneasy alliances with the people who want to use her. A Touch of Power is a promising opening to the series.  But it can also be read as a completely self-contained (and fully satisfying) stand-alone novel.

The book strikes a perfect balance. Lovers of the teen paranormal romance genre will love the tension that builds over the course of the novel. Fans of fantasy will fall in love with the magic and world Snyder creates. And those of us who love a good read will appreciate Avry’s sharp mind and her dawning–horrified–realization that some sacrifices need to be made for the sake of the lives of the people who fear and hate her.

In a typical Snyder fashion, the author creates a surprising blend of genres, as well, beyond the elements of a romantic political thriller. The story drifts in the straight-forward fantasy directions, it seems, right up until the main villain reveals his hand and we are faced with a horde of–well, I won’t spoil it for you. But it is a daring move that takes the fantasy post-apocalyptic world even deeper into the apocalyptic genre.

The Australian editions (above) get the loveliest covers! Still, the US editions best convey the series “adventure” aspect.

If I had to take half-a-canary rating off the novel, it would ultimately be because of how understanding and reasonable Avry is when confronting the people who have hurt her. Perhaps it is realistic, considering everything she is (healer, alone, lonely), but I would have loved to see just a smidgen more groveling near the end from the people who’ve wronged her. That said, there’s always book two to look forward to!

Book galley .pdf received courtesy
of Netgalley & MiraBooks.


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6 thoughts on “[ Book Review ] When being a healer is a death sentence.

    • I have a soft spot for Snyder’s first book, Poison Study, but I rather think this one might be a better read–though it might just be that it has more romance in it! I have a soft spot for lovey-doveyness. 😀

      I enjoy how Snyder combines angst, character growth, and adventure. You should read it and let me know what you think.

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