Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Early Review - Touch of Power (Healer, Book 1) by Maria V. Snyder (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 400 pages
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: December 20, 2011
ISBN: 978-0778313076
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Healer series
Source: eGalley from
Rating: 4/5 stars

I got an eGalley of this book through This is the first book in Snyder's new Healer series. Previously I have read the Poison Study series (which I loved) and the first book in the Glass series (which I didn't love that much at all). For me this book was somewhere between those two. I enjoyed it and am excited to see what comes next for this series.

Avry of Kazan is a healer who has been on the run for nearly two years. Her and her kind are now hunted because it is believe that Healers caused the plague that wiped a good portion of humanity. When Avry is abducted by a group of rogues she thinks they are after the reward money that they will get for turning in a Healer. She is surprised to find out they actually want her to use her healing skills to heal a prince of the realm. Now Avry must decide if healing the prince and helping the realm attain peace is worth the ultimate cost, her life.

For me this book was better than the first one in the Glass series but not as good as the Poison Study series. Avry is an interesting character; I loved that as a healer she has to take on the injuries of her patients and I love how that forces her to balance what she does. Although she is intriguing, Avry still never really captured my heart like Yolana did in Poison study. Kerrick is the lead rogue, and as such ends up being the male lead. I didn't like him as much as the male lead in Poison Study; he comes off as a bit of a jerk at first. I did grow to like his character over time and understood him more as the story progressed; I still didn't think he was the strongest lead though. There are lots of very intriguing side characters. Snyder does an excellent job of making the side characters realistic and interesting.

The world building is one of the strongest points of this book. Snyder expands on the interesting world she has created with the previous two series. This book, of course, focuses on healing powers but also touches on life and death magic. I enjoy the magic system it is creative and interesting. I loved the inclusion of the peace and death lilies and loved how they were tied into the story; this added a little something special and mysterious to the story and I really enjoyed it. I am eager to see how the Lilies tie into the future books.

The plot is well done and the writing style is easy to read. Those who liked Snyder's previous series will enjoy this one as well. The premises are very similar. A girl in a tough situation with special powers meets a man she initially can't stand and then falls in love with; woven around that core are politics and danger. Don't get me wrong it's a good premise for a story and I enjoy it; it is just similar to what Snyder's done previously.

Overall I enjoyed this opening book to Snyder's Healer series. The characters are well done (although they didn't capture my heart like the Poison Study ones did), the world is intriguing, and the plot well done. Fans of Snyder's previous books should enjoy this new series. Fans of fantasy with adventure and romance thrown in will also find a lot to love.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- E-book Reading Challenge
- Fantasy Reading Challenge

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