Michelle Witte's Reviews > Touch of Power

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
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's review
Nov 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult, fantasy, romance, favorites, magic
Read from November 12 to 13, 2011

Originally posted at Libri Ago .

There is a certain type of book that I seek every time I'm at the library or bookstore, a kind of story with a quality I can't quite describe but will pulls me in so completely that I get lost in their worlds. There's something in them that calms me when my life is full of stress and I just can't deal with any more of it.

It's somewhat tricky to explain what kind of book fits my criteria; instead I'll offer a list of titles that encompass it:

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (pay special attention to this one)
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Now there are many more books with this same feel, but discovering stellar examples can be tough. So many times an upcoming book will sound like it has the same qualities but ends up lacking the essential elements that so appeal to me. (Don't ask me what they are, as I have yet to figure out exactly what draws me to them.)

One very long intro later, we get to the heart of the review: Touch of Power launched itself smack dab onto this list and is one of the best books of this type that I've read in quite a while. It probably isn't too surprising, considering her Poison Study made the list several years ago. In all honesty, I like this one so much more than Poison Study, which is saying a lot.

The basic premise is this: A horrific plague decimates the populace of Avry's world, leaving survivors beleaguered and wary of another outbreak. Avry is a Healer, and while normally this would be a good thing, people blame the Healers for causing the plague and take to executing every Healer they find.

With practically nowhere to hide, Avry is constantly on the move. Without getting into too much detail, she ends up the captive of a band of rogues who drag her across the world to have her heal someone. Adventures, danger and romance ensue.

It isn't the plot that's so incredible about this book; it's the world-building. My favorite has to be the giant lilies that can swallow a man whole. While there are two varieties, there is no way to tell them apart: the Peace Lily is a beautiful sight while the Death Lily is a danger to every creature that wanders by. I found it fascinating to see how the Lilies and other unique elements developed and added to the story.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book, even though I read it through the night and finished bleary-eyed at 5 am. That's probably another indicator of how much I liked Touch of Power.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy.
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