Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Avry of Kazan is one of the last - if not the last - healer in her realm. After the plague, Avry has to hide her skills, for the healers were blamed for the start of the plague that threw their realm into chaos and ruin. But a simple healing of a young child brings Avry into the crosshairs, and she soon finds herself in a world of trouble. Though a band of rebels rescues her from an untimely death, the price she must pay - healing a prince she does not believe should rule the kingdoms - may be more than she's willing to sacrifice.
I like the plot of Touch of Power, though it feels a little sloppy and not all that well thought out in a few places. The romantic aspect of the novel is a little forced and not really necessary, but it isn't overly annoying or slap you in the face abundant. There's simply no chemistry between the characters that Snyder joins, and the significant age gap grosses me out a little as well. But I can see how she uses it to help motivate the plot. Without the chemistry, however, it makes some of the plot progress weak and unrealistic.
The characters themselves, however, are likable (well, perhaps not all of them). They are dynamic and well developed, and we really get to know the small band we follow throughout the novel. I think my favorite side character ended up being Flea, if for nothing else than his determination to learn to juggle.
The world of the Nine Kingdoms that Snyder creates is vast and interesting, even if perhaps some of the politics of the powers in struggle for rule go a bit over my head. The conclusion of this novel certainly leaves enough to be explored in the sequel, which I will continue. The ending is a bit weak with the conclusion predictable, but I am sure if she went in any other directions, fans would have been in an uproar.
Nothing dramatically unique or powerful about this novel, which can be a bit slow paced in sections, but it is an interesting novel if you like fantasy with just a hint of romance.