Publication Date: December 20th, 2011
Publisher: Mira (An imprint of Harlequin)
Page Count: 394
Source: Netgalley and Harlequin
Buy it on Amazon: Touch of Power (Healer)
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.I've been wanting to pick up a really good fantasy novel for awhile, but nothing has really compared to Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore so when I started reading Touch of Power I knew I had struck fantastical gold. I really loved the direction this book took, despite Avry's ability to heal the sick and injured she is mostly ridiculed and blamed for the mysterious plague that has killed thousands, causing her to remain on the run. The story did get somewhat slow in places, having me glance through some passages, but it kept me entertained enough to continue reading.
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...
Avry is a great female protagonist. She's extremely loyal, selfless, strong, and witty! She doesn't just go along with what other people want her to do and she resists Kerrick every step of the way which is just hilarious to read about! Her one vice, however, is sick children which tends to get her into a lot of trouble. Kerrick and is band of merry men (yes, I'm referencing Robin Hood!) are an extremely hilarious bunch! Belen reminded me of Andre the Giant, a huge guy who just protects those that are smaller than him. The other 3 are exactly how Kerrick describes them, monkeys! Kerrick himself is a tough guy on the outside, but when he lets his heart shine through he just makes me melt!!
Snyder really knows how to weave a fantastical story. The only issue I had was her use of the word "guys". For some reason I feel like "guys" should not be used in a fantasy story, but maybe that's just a minor pet peeve of mine? I really liked that the story takes place over the course of what seems like months and not just a few days/weeks. There is also some romance, but I'm not ruining it for you! I honestly didn't see it coming for a really long time! By the end of the book I was in tears! Happy tears, sad tears, all kinds of tears!
Overall I really loved this book and I'm glad I forced myself to request it from Netgalley! Touch of Power definitely has me on a fantasy kick now and I'm looking forward to reading more fantasy YA soon. I'm also really looking forward to reading more of Snyder's books which I've heard are amazing! If you're a fantasy lover, you definitely need to pick this one up. The writing is superb, the characters are fun, and the story is great! I had a hard time getting into it in the beginning but I had an easy time finishing it!