It’s been FOREVER since I’ve read a YA book, and a fantasy one at that, but what better way to get back in the genre than with Maria V. Snyder? I adored Poison Study, which is the only book I’ve ever read from the author, but Maria V. Snyder can do fantasy like no other. Reading Touch of Power just reminded me of how much I love fantasy books. I miss that genre!
As a healer, 20-year-old Avry has the power to take away other people’s injuries, and assume them as her own. If they have a broken bone, she can use her healing magic to fix it back, but she’ll have a broken bone herself. Even dire injuries that are fatal wouldn’t be fatal to Avry because her healing powers improve and speed up her recovery. But as miraculous as her powers are, healers like her have been hunted ever since the devastating plague broke out. Healers couldn’t heal those infected with the plague without dying themselves, which is abnormal. And so Avry has been on the run for 3 years trying to survive, except she gets caught by a group of men who want to use her powers to save a prince who might be able to save the kingdom from being taken over by an evil tyrant.
Avry is a fairly impressive heroine. She’s tough, she’s loyal, and she’s very adamant about using her powers for good. She’s not afraid to take on any illness or injury, no matter how dire, but she refuses to help save Prince Ryne for certain reasons. The gang who kidnaps her (Kerrick, Belen, Flea, Quian, and Loren) try to convince her to change her mind, but ultimately, they force her to travel with them across the land to get to the prince.
I adored Kerrick. The second I read “Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own” from the blurb, I knew there was going to be some tension going on between him and Avry. Kerrick is a cold-hearted man in the beginning of their journey, only wanting to use Avry for her powers, not even viewing her as a person, but as the group travel across dangerous terrain, fighting against enemies and creatures, and fighting for people worth saving, he lets down his defenses. He starts to have a heart (not that he’d let anyone know), but as their leader, he has to be tough and ruthless. And I loved that Maria V. Snyder was able to build up the romance without even focusing on it. And even if there was no romance, I’d still be content with the book, because the plot is just that good!
I loved the other characters as well. The six of them bond through their travels, and they end up building a camaraderie and caring for one another. And sometimes the gang is just hilarious! I admit I was chuckling at parts, because they pick on each other all the time. Their group isn’t just based on duty, but also on friendship.
There’s so much going on in this book, and there are so many twists and turns, and I highly enjoyed it! I love how even though it’s a fantasy book, and there are people with magical powers, all the characters still felt believable. I could connect with Avry, and I really admired her character. Kerrick is freaking awesome, along with the rest of the gang, and there’s a nasty villain who’s complicated and intriguing. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was the writing. Or should I say Avry’s narration? Either way, it’s didn’t really sound like a 20-year-old woman, but the story was still able hook me in so I overlooked that. Other than that, Touch of Power is a wonderful fantasy novel that I highly recommend to fantasy lovers and non-fantasy lovers alike!