Saturday, 17 December 2011

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder **Review**


Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Avry of Kazan #1
Publisher: MIRA
Release date (UK): 20 December 2011
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Waterstone's | Amazon US

Goodreads synopsis:
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes 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 Territories, 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...

I was fairly convinced that I would enjoy this book - it sounded like exactly my kind of read - but I didn't expect to love it quite as much as I did!
Maria didn't waste time in getting the reader into the story - we're thrown pretty much straight into the action. Avry begins the story by telling us a little about the origins of 'the plague', an incurable disease that has wiped out more than a third of the world population (although a world that we are not familiar with), and then introduces us to what she is. Avry is a healer, and the plot of the novel gets going almost immediately as she heals a sick child and throws herself into instant danger by doing so. Soon after, Kerrick is introduced into the plot and the plot begins to thicken.

It has been quite a while since I've read a book with a plot that is so well-constructed. The novel was very consistent and by the end of the novel, there were no loose ends left untied (apart from those that lead us into the second in the series, of course), which shows a great deal of skill on the author's part. And the premise of the novel and plot itself was intoxicating - I can't think of a better word to describe it - it was an instantly addictive story (the second part to which I will wait for very impatiently). The plot was perfectly-paced - fast enough that the reader is not allowed to get bored with what is happening, but slow enough so that the events are allowed to play out properly, and nothing is rushed unnecessarily. The events are also equally as exciting and intriguing and I can't wait to see how the plot develops further as the series continues.

The characters were also fantastically well-developed. Avry was a wonderful female protagonist. What I find with a lot of modern fantasy fiction (as in, books published within the last 5 or 6 years), is that the female protagonists can be quite shallow, not well-developed, whiny and even irritating, but Avry was not at all like that! She was a very believable character - amiable, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, and could quite easily have been a description of a living person. This is not just true of Avry, but of most characters in the book. I did feel that Tohon's character was perhaps a little over the top, but then again I've never met anyone as villainous as him! He was an intriguing character none-the-less, and caused me to love Avry, Kerrick and the rest of their team even more.

Kerrick is another wonderful character in the novel. Although when we first meet him, he is a brooding, bossy and apparently unsympathetic character, we soon learn that this is just a protective facade. Kerrick has things in his past that he'd far sooner forget than face up to, but after meeting Avry, he is forced to begin facing the pain in his past, and to try overcoming it in favour of finally breaking the icy shell he formed around his heart in order to survive.
The relationship between Kerrick and Avry is also entirely believable. Avry's initial reaction and attitude towards Kerrick is an entirely natural and expected one - rather than falling immediately head-over-heels for her rescuer/captor, she severely dislikes him. The relationship subtly develops however, so that by the end of the novel, their romance is realistic and much anticipated, rather than the alternative of being overwhelming (or sickening, as is the possibility with the romances in some other novels in the same genre).

I absolutely adored this novel, and I think it's definitely going to have to go down somewhere in my list of top ten favourite books that I've read in 2011!
I recommend it to all fans of fantasy, but also implore other readers to pick it up too - I think you may be surprised by what you find!


36 comments:

Jodie Lane said...

Thanks for this review!
I didn't even know about this book if I am honest. Will keep my eye out for it =)

Pen to Paper said...

Definitely keep an eye out, Jodie! It comes out next week.
It's a must read! xxx

kimba88 said...

i love a good plot..gotta get this one..thanks for sharing :)

FirestarBooks said...

Amazing review! I wish I could review like you. I love the plot of this book. Hopefully I will read this book in the near future. :)

Lisaa said...

Awesome review!! I can't wait to read this it sounds amazing!!

bingeingonbooks said...

I'm dying for this book! Great review!!

The Night Bookmobile said...

I'm always interested to read more perspectives about this novel. It seems like you liked Kerrick. I really did not. I just couldn't forgive him for his abusive actions. That left me torn because I really loved the story Maria crafted here with the plants and everything.

Kelly said...

Thanks for the review and the giveaway that I won. I love Maria's books!!

SarahS. said...

Great review, it sounds like a good book! (=

Koll said...

Great review :)

Sassy said...

Great review. I bought this book a few weeks ago and can't wait to dive into it. :)

mimz said...

Great review! I really liked the book! I have to find more of Maria V. Snyder's books. :D

PotterHead4ever said...

I won a copy of this from a giveaway. Still waiting for it to arrive though. And based from your review, I guess I really am lucky that I won. :D
I think I'm going to love Avry. I'm all for heroines who are, as you say, as believable as she is. And I want to get to know about Kerrick too.
Looking forward to reading this book. :)

- Noely Jeleen

Pen to Paper said...

@PotterHead4ever - I've got no doubt in my mind that you will love Avry! I adore her - and I'm really looking forward to reading more about her.
Going to have to wait so long though, which makes me sad!

Sam said...

It looks good. I like the UK cover better than the US one! Can't wait to read this. I want to read about the romance? :D Thanks for the review. :)

Vidya-BooksAreMagic said...

I enjoyed this book very much too! This is the book, I started my blog with. So, its kinda special. :)

Vidya @ Books Are Magic

miki said...

i'm really interested in this book, i love the plot and all the cover are magnificient. I'm really happy to have won it and after you review i can't wait to start reading it

all the best

Sharmaine Chan said...

This book has been in my TBR list for quite some time. In all honesty, I was only curious about this book because of it's beautiful cover (I prefer the US over UK though), nonetheless, seeing high reviews about this book made me think twice. And about Tohon's character.. I know I haven't read this book, but try reading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and think about Warner's character. He's also evil, but I belong on his team! BTW, great review! Can't wait to read it!

SarahSerenity said...

This has been on my TBR pile for a while. I've been meaning to give it a read since I find the plot really interesting and the reviews I've read (including this one) praise it.

Leannessf said...

Thanks for the review! I just finished this book and totally agree with you how Avry was a great, realistic character and her romance with Kendrick believable. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

I would also recommend Snyder's other series, Study and Glass series, if you haven't read them yet!

Thanks!
Leanne

Deborah A. said...

Oh boy. This sounds like a fantastic book! I haven't read any of Maria Snyder yet, but I want to. Now I guess I know where to start. :)

Rebecca said...

Awesome review. I absolutely loved this book :)

Dark_Calling said...

thanks for the really awesome review...im really excited to read this book :)

Angie said...

Okay!! This review has pumped me up to pick up my copy of the book!! I will start reading it soon!! Kerrick sounds so dreamy now!!!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Love the cover on this book. Great review will check it out x

Sierra Abrams said...

I really enjoyed this book! Not a favorite, but definitely a re-read because it really was enjoyable! I liked Avry a lot and Kerrick DEFINITELY grew on me...jerk at the beginning, totally swoon-worthy at the end. ;) The bad guy gave me MAJOR chills. Overall, great book! You can read my review here: http://yearningtoread.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-touch-of-power-by-maria-v-snyder.html

Thanks for the great review! I loved reading your thoughts! :)

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this. Need to dig it out.

Jolene and Family said...

Awesome review. I've had this book on my radar, but it looks like I really need to bump it up to my to buy asap list

Jaime Lester said...

I am so glad to hear such a great review on this book! I just won it in the First Aid booth in the Carnival Hop. I have never had the pleasure to read one of Maria's books, but I have heard nothing but good things. If your review is any indication, I think that I will enjoy Touch of Power very much. Thanks for another awesome Pen to Paper review!

Tara said...

Really glad you enjoyed this one - I need to read more of Maria Snyder's stuff I think!

Lisaa said...

I just randomly came across this book and I LOVED it!! I absolutely cannot wait for the next one!! awesome review, thanks!! :D

Michelle Chew said...

This looks like a book which I'll enjoy too! Wow! Action! I like. Thanks for sharing!

Charisse Balleza said...

I'm in love with this book! Maria V. Snyder, she's a very talented author. You should also read her other novels, especially the Study series! ;)

Juana said...

This is the first time I hear about this book, and not only is the cover beautiful, but the story sounds like something that I would like. I've added it to my book wish list.

jmesparza821(at)gmail(dot)com

Leonor (Ner) said...

I have to thank you once more for the recommendation. I absolutely loved the book and I agree with you when you say the romance between Avry and Kerrick was realistic.

I've written my review as well if you wish to read it... I have a special thanks for you.
http://cupofcoffeeandabook.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-touch-of-power.html

I also liked your review in goodreads ^_^

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