Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder
THEY DESTROYED HER WORLD. BUT SHE’S THEIR ONLY HOPE...
Avry’s power to heal the sick should earn her respect in the plague-torn land of Kazan. Instead she is feared. Her kind are blamed for the horrifying disease that has taken hold of the nation. When Avry uses her forbidden magic to save a dying child, she faces the guillotine. Until a dark, mysterious man rescues her from her prison cell. His people need Avry’s magic to save their dying prince. The very prince who first unleashed the plague on Kazan.
Saving the prince is certain to kill Avry – yet she already faces a violent death. Now she must choose – use her healing touch to show the ultimate mercy or die a martyr to a lost cause?
My Review: 4/5*
This was a difficult book for me. Following so many positive reviews on this book and many recommendations to read it I was expecting to be completely blown away. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book. It took awhile to get into and to get to grips with the various characters and places that are interwoven, but once I settled in to the book it did make a good read.
It's a novel situated within the fantasy genre following the journey of the last remaining Healer on her quest to heal Prince Rhyne. This journey is made all the more entertaining by the fact that she was broken out of prison and forced into this quest to heal a Prince that she most certainly doesn't consider to be worthy of her gift. This last sentence makes it sound like Avry - our Healer - is quite pompous but this isn't the case at all. She is very down to earth, someone with whom we can easily relate to. She has been in hiding for the past three years due to the majority of the population blaming Healers for the rise of the incurable Plague.
The quest leads our key characters, Avry, Kerrick, Flea, Belen, Loren and Quain on a perilous journey in which they risk their lives for the sake of the Fifteen Kingdoms. We follow them through the rough Winter in which they come up against various opponents, including Tohon the sadistic Prince fighting for control of the throne. The journey includes love, loss, tragedy and humour and it was wonderful to read the developments. Belen aka Popa Bear was my absolute favourite. A gentle giant, I loved him and want him as a friend! He takes care of the entire gang.
I had some issues with Avry. I heard many bloggers promoting her strength etc. I agreed to some extent as she doesn't back down from Kerrick and she isn't some damsel in distress whining with her woe-is-me lifestyle, but, I didn't find her strength all that remarkable until the final third of the novel. I felt that she could have done a little more to escape if she really wanted to. She could have spent less time being so preoccupied with herself also. Despite this, she really does show her strengths in the final sections when she is up again the evil figure of Tohon.
This is a fairly simple but enjoyable fantasy novel. I definitely recommend it to lovers of young adult, fantasy and romance. It packs a punch and is filled with lovable characters AND characters that we just love to hate :).