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Showing 1-10 of 206 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 365 reviews
on April 29, 2017
I really love Maria Snyder. Her Poison Study trilogy is one of my all-time favorite fantasy series (seriously, if you'd haven't read them, go pick them up right now). And this book, while not quite as utterly brilliant as Poison Study (again, one of my all-time favs), was a lovely read.

The story is this: in a world where a plague swept across kingdoms and devastated land after land, a young healer hides her healing powers because everyone believes that healers were the ones to blame for the plague itself--and for not healing the population from it. One night, after healing a dying child, Avry, who might just be the last healer left alive and in hiding, is caught...and then rescued by a group of men who need her to heal a king and save the kingdoms. Of course, it isn't really that simple, because in Avry's world it never is. Is the king really a good guy worth saving? Are her rescuers saviors or kidnappers?

If you haven't read Poison Study, I'd go back and read that series first (it's so friggin amazing), but if you have, don't worry - Maria Snyder won't disappoint here either.
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on April 16, 2015
Maria V. Snyder’s debut novel, Poison Study, is quite possibly one of the best YA fantasies I’ve ever read, and I keep rereading it. So I came into Touch of Power with plenty of expectations, and it didn’t quite measure up.

That’s not to say Touch of Power was terrible, exactly. Its premise was fascinating: Avry is one of the last healers in a world where healers have been blamed for starting a devastating plague. Instead of just healing someone with no consequences, a healer’s magic comes with a price–they have to assume the injuries of the patient, and heal themselves quickly.

Snyder’s storytelling skills are as strong as ever. Her impressive imagination created a world of adventure and intrigue, and I never once felt bored even though the main characters’ journey was one of Lord of the Rings proportions. The pacing was off, though. Weeks would pass normally, and then all of a sudden a couple months would go by in the same amount of pages. It was hard to keep my bearings, so eventually I just gave up and went with it.

Touch of Power isn’t on par with Poison Study because it lacks the depth of characterization and setting of the earlier novel. It also just seemed more “typical YA,” in that it was a fun read but not very thought-provoking. It didn’t stick with me long after I’d finished it like Poison Study did. Avry is a typical YA fantasy heroine: she’s strong, kind, brave, etc. But she has none of the steely determination and intelligence that made me love Yelena so much. And don’t even get me started on Kerrick, Avry’s love interest. He not only pales in comparison to Poison Study‘s Valek–he’s just a raging douchebag with few redeeming qualities. I kept wondering why Avry was going on and on about him smelling like sunshine when he was backhanding her and threatening her and just generally being a dick.

All in all, Touch of Power was entertaining but didn’t meet my expectations. It just felt like it was geared toward a younger audience than Poison Study, which it may well be. It needed more development in many places, but Snyder’s storytelling abilities kept me hooked despite its flaws.

Check out this review and others on my book blog here:
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on December 27, 2015
tl;dr Read this book! It enthralled me from the moment I began reading. I totally recommend it to people seeking strong heroines, political intrigue, or a slow burn (yet steamy) romance.

A young woman finds herself falling in with a group of men intent on saving their dying friend, although the price could be her life. Let's review!

Wow, I absolutely loved this book! The world building was interesting without being cumbersome, while the characters were intriguing and unique. Told in first person, Avry’s unreliable perspective added mystery to an otherwise straightforward plot. Speaking of Avery, I really loved her spunk and resiliency. She is definitely one of my book girl crushes! Sparks fly between the two potential love interests, which I always find entertaining. The ending highlights where the series may go moving forward without giving too much away.

Fair warning, some scenes in the book may turn readers off. This book had several scenes depicting violence against women and children.
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on May 14, 2014
I am a big fan of Maria V Snyder's work - so obviously I'm going to be a bit biased. This was an easy read, the story flowed and I didn't find myself getting impatient at any point in the story. I felt like I was given just enough back story to get by with the plot, but I did find myself wanting more. Hoping that the 2nd book will not disappoint in that regard. It had similar tones of other stories of hers - female protagonist who has magical powers of some sort (healing in this case) who is either an outlaw or wrongfully persecuted (both in this case.) There is danger, violence, prejudice to contend with, and of course love interests. The latter wasn't surprising to me, though I had held out hopes that I might be wrong in how it would play out that bit was definitely predictable. That didn't make it less enjoyable, just less exciting. All in all if you're a Snyder fan you should definitely give it a go. If you've never read Snyder's work before though, I recommend the staple of Poison Study first.
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on May 26, 2012
Avry could never see a child suffer for long, and healing them only meant she had to run away and hide again, but she would do it if it meant saving them. That's where the story begins, with Avry healing a child and being captured. After years on the run she knows this is finally the end. Then a handsome rogue and his group of men rescue her and ask for her help in healing their prince, who is dying from the plague that decimated the entire realm. Healing a plague victim means giving up her life since she won't be able to heal herself from that. A price Avry would gladly pay if only Prince Ryne was worthy. As they travel across the land, Avry will find things she thought lost forever. Things like friendship, family, love and even a possible cure.

Avry is an amazing addition to Maria's notable cast of characters from the other series. She's stubborn, brave, and as a healer she has this natural drive to care and save people. I thought it was very original the way the healer role is taken. Usually in fiction healers might fight their magic depleted and become physically tired, but to actually transfer the wounds on their bodies! I think that makes the job of healer even more self-sacrificing. Her rescuers: Belen, Vinn, Flea, Quain are a lovable band of merry men. They made all the traveling and camping around in caves bearable. Kerrick's earth magic was just superb. He's like the freaking Predator camouflaging in the forest. In fact, the whole magic system is amazing and I hope more mages will appear in the future.

Maria V Snyder has won me over before with her wonderful story telling skills, and her ninth novel is not the exception. Once you start reading you will not want to put Touch of Power down. Intriguing plot, likable characters, and a unique fantasy world, will hold your attention for hours! Touch of Power is just the beginning of what I know will be an amazing trilogy.

*I received this book via Netgalley from the publisher for my honest review*
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on March 28, 2017
Good book with a great storyline but I didn't move on to the next books. It felt sort of over for me by the end of the book. The characters were great and so was the plot, but the writing was average and like I said before, it didn't make me want to read the next book. I would still recommend for fantasy and young adult readers who are interested in that sort of things. Some would die to read the next book, but I did not. Happy reading :)
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on January 7, 2013
I bought this book because it was on sale for such a low price. The story was fine, though nothing great. Like Snyders other works (two of which I have read, couldn't get through Fire Study) the writing style was very simplistic and sloppy. Very little detail is given in regards to the surroundings or characters; and that she uses common american slang in what is supposed to be a midevil type cutlture in another world, is very jaring. And to be honest, the relationship between the main characters is ....... Who would guess, that the man she HATES, turns out to be in love with her, and she likewise in love with him.... If I were a teenage girl, I might have enjoyed this book more
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on March 13, 2017
Maria V. Snyder is just really talented at creating new worlds for her characters to live and love in. Avry has such a beautiful spirit. I really appreciate how she continually heals people no matter who they are and no matter who they work for. The love story between Avry and Kerrick is really well developed to become a deep and true love that they are both willing to go the distance for. I really like the different layers of magic. The new take on magic and what each possessor can do with their gift is very interesting.
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on June 18, 2014
So, I am a lover of fantasy. I am also a lover of romance. And, I happen to very much enjoy this author. I love it when worlds and rules are created, and I love when you spend a decent chunk of time identifying with the struggle of the MC and learning about them. I love it when romance takes a while to build, and can be seen throughout the pages as they go on. After reading some rather critical reviews, I decided I should add my own two cents, even if no one may read it.

1) If you have never read a book by this author, be aware that you probably will not see any "romantic" action until the near end of the novel and that any XXX scene will most likely go by in three sentences and you most likely won't realize what just happened till you think about it. So if you are gunning for some stolen kisses here and there, you're better off picking up a different series or just waiting for the next book because once they are together and actually together, then you will get your romantic moments. Otherwise you'll need to be satisfied with catching minor details here and there about jealousy, or stolen smiles, and changes of heart.

2) If you do not like fantasy, you probably will not like this book.

3) Her books tend to be a bit of "slow cookers." If you want your action and you want it now, head for a different series.

4) If you are not a fan of having to learn about a new world and how it operates, then you will not enjoy the book.


This first book was great. I personally found it difficult to put down. It was different from her Study series which made me happy, but still familiar at the same time. The character is very different from Yelena but like Yelena, she has a situation that requires being overcome and the solution is not an easy one. The love interest is slightly jerky, but we love him for it. Kind of like Valek, but this one isn't an assassin or a poison master. He has a trick of his own though.

Is it worth paying for? I think so. It's the kind of book I can go back to and read again and again finding something new or catching a hint I missed the first time around without it becoming dull. The first book is not necessarily about romance, and I'm okay with that, because I was able to invest myself with the characters. In these kinds of times, there really isn't much time for some good old fashioned snogging in a corner. However, even with my three sentences of muted passion, I was very much satisfied because she writes it in a way that you can understand it's more emotional than physical, and any more descriptions could ruin the beautiful simplicity of it.

All that said, to me at least, this series is not as gripping as her Study Series. When I read Poison Study, I went on a rampage trying to get the second and third book. It helped that I got into it after the third book was released. With this series, the pull to get to the second book was there, but I'm not going to lie, I didn't buy it, nor have I bought the third book. I haven't picked up this book since I read it, though I have designs to reread it once the second and third book arrive on my doorstep. I have definitely found other series that I have become addicted to and have the "need-to-know" virus from, but this one is mellow in comparison.

So I give this book 4 stars. It's a good read. It's descriptive in terms of the world and the characters. It's got snatches of romance. It's unique in it's plot. But If you can't grip me enough that I pre-order the second and third book, then I can't give you 5 stars. Instead I decided I could wait till 2 and 3 came out before I continued with this trilogy. It's been six months since the third book came out. Even with work and school, I can still finish a 500 page book in two days if I put my mind to it, so there is a missing element here that makes me unable to call this book a gem for your library.

But once again, I'd recommend you read it. It's not bad. It's not a waste of your time. This review is probably confusing but sometimes it's hard to convey why a book is good to others and where and how it is lacking.

This book isn't perfect. Anyone in search of hardcore romance, will probably not enjoy this book. If you love fantasy, this book is unique, even when it brings in an old concept. Don't ignore the critical reviews, but don't be fooled by glowing ones either.
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VINE VOICEon January 12, 2013
Touch of Power immediately started with our heroine, Avry, doing the right thing and almost being killed for it. In her world, healers such as she are on the run, outlawed and hunted down because of the recent plague pandemic they could not quell. Avry's been hiding out in small towns and attempting not to use her magical gift, but she simply cannot help herself when faced with the illness of a young child she knows. Once her secret is out, she's condemned to die...but wait, someone rescues her just in the nick of time. Though Avry of course takes the opportunity to live, she knows it won't be without strings attached, and they are big: She's being forcefully taken to heal Ryne, king of one of the Fifteen Realms. What her captors don't know is that if she heals Ryne, she will die, and besides that, she doesn't even like the guy.

Much of Touch of Power takes place as Avry and her captors, who become her friends, travel toward the Nine Mountains so she can heal Ryne. To say that Avry is less than thrilled with leader Kerrick is an understatement; but it's equally evident that there are sparks flying between the two and that they work well together. A lot of time is spent on Avry learning the tricks of the forest and there are some side forays such as helping a girl who has been kidnapped that add to the length of the book. The best parts are the interactions between Avry, Belen, and the "monkeys" (the men helping Kerrick retrieve Avry); it's so nice to see genuine friendships develop slowly, and it gives depth to Avry's character. There is a lot of repetition in the travels: staying away from Death Lilies, sleeping in caves, escaping mercenaries; while those things didn't bother me, I do wonder now if perhaps they could have somehow been varied a bit. The whole story with Avry's sister Noelle took me by surprise and I look forward to seeing how it will all play out in the future.

I loved Avry's spirited personality and her headstrong attitude and felt she was definitely the brightest link in the book. Smart female protagonists always enhance my enjoyment and Avry is no exception, with her sharp mind and outstanding sense of sarcasm. A few times I was drawn out of the story by the modern feeling of the dialogue, but since it's a fantasy, I feel the author can choose to write it as she wishes. I was not such a fan of Kerrick, however; I disliked his unwillingness to listen and definitely despised his treatment, sometimes physical, of Avry early on. It's going to take some doing before I'm 100% on board with him.

My biggest complaint, if it can be termed as such, is that it's hard to gauge the readership for this novel. Though the characters are in their twenties, they often interact and react as though they were teens. While I see this novel as appealing to all fantasy readers and most young adult readers, I wonder if there will be those who will nitpick the actions of twenty-somethings who do not seem fully adult. But Maria V. Snyder's writing fully engages and those minor concerns are lost in the overall fun and action of the story. I'm on to the second book!
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