Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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.
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…”
Touch of Power is the first book in the new Healer series by Maria V. Snyder.
Avry of Kazan is a healer. She can cure all kind of illness and injuries just by touching a person, after touching the ailing person she absorbs the illness/injure into herself. Her body regenerate really fast, healing in couple of hours of days depending of how ill the person she cured was.
Instead of being appreciated, healers has been persecuted for the last three years. They are blamed for causing the plague that have killed thousands of people in the Fifteen Realms.
Avry has been on the run even since, staying in little towns for couple of months or weeks at a time. She has tried to keep a low profile but when a kid gets ill it’s almost impossible for her not to heal him/her. Every time after healing a kid she must move to avoid being caught. After healing a fatally ill small girl she is too sick to leave town, she decides to stay the night to recover and it’s planning to leave in the morning but early next day she is apprehended. The father of the child she healed reported her to the autorities. She has accepted her fate, she’s tired of running and hiding and is ready to be executed. Things change when she is rescued by a group of men who has been looking for a healer for over two years.
The leader of the group is Kerrick of Alba. He wants Avry to heal his friend, Prince Ryne who suffers from the plague and has been kept in a stasis state for the last two years while Kerrick has been looking for a healer. Now he has found Avry, the last healer alive. But there is a problem, Avry doesn’t want to heal Prince Ryne because not only he was the one who started the rumor that the healers were responsible for the plague but also he has been accused of committing heinous crimes. Kerrick will have to convince Avry to heal Prince Ryne by whatever means before it’s too late.
There is a long way to go from the place Kerrick found Avry to the place the body of Price Ryne is kept, many weeks or even months of difficult travel awaits them, it’s not only that winter is coming but thanks to the bounty on Avry’s head bands of mercenaries are following their tracks.
This is one of those books that from page one will transport you to another place, in this case is to the magical place Mrs. Snyder has created. A fantastical and magical world with a medieval touch, where the good guys are really good, the bad guys are not just bad but creepy in a sense that will give the chills, a place where even the surroundings become characters in its own sense.
One of the things I liked the most about this book were its characters, they are all different but easy to connect with and understand.
I loved how Avry goes from being tired with her life and not caring if she lives of dies to loving being alive again. She found pleasure on living again thanks to finding friendship and camaraderie with other characters as Belen, Vinn, Quain and Flea.
On the beginning I didn't like Kerrick much but after couple of pages I understood his behavior, that doesn’t mean I accept the things he did but I know he was trying to do what he thought was best. After he realized his mistake he redeemed himself. It takes a strong man to accepts his mistakes and do something about it.
The secondary characters were perfect, they all made the story a more interesting one. Vinn and Quain were fun an entertaining, Flea was a sweetheart, but my favorite was without a doubt Belen or as Avry named him, Poppa Bear, what a perfect nickname for such a caring man.
As I said before the evil guys were creepy. The main focus was on King Tohon, he’s a strong magician, who’s trying to united all the realms. His intentions may have a good base but his tactics are just beyond twisted and evil. Another character that could be include in the villain category is Queen Estrid, she rules another realm and as Tohon she is trying to unite more realms but in her case she’s forcing them to follow her extremist religious beliefs. We don’t see much of her in this book but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a headache in books to come.
Touch of Power was a really nice surprise. I had heard many good things about Maria V. Snyder’s books but I really wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I recommend this book to fantasy and YA lovers.
I’m looking forward to read the next installment of this series Scent of Magic.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Touch of Power
Scent of Magic (TBA)
Other reviews Goodreads