Touch of Power (Healer, #1) Touch of Power discussion


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Who was uncomfortable with Kerrick as love interest?

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Nuran I love the book but I didn't want Avery to fall in love with Kerrick purely because he hit her. I understand the stress he was in but what about the next time he'll get stressed. It's a fantasy novel so he'll probably won't hit her rver again, but the sensible part of me says he'll do it again. Kerrick kind of redeems himself but not enough, hoping the next book he'll win me over more. Kerrick was a jerk, Tohan was an even bigger jerk and made Kerrick look like prince charming.

I like Kerrick and I don't. Anyone else as confused about him as me?


message 2: by Naiya (last edited Dec 31, 2012 08:03PM) (new)

Naiya I actually found Kerrick relatively humanlike in a genre that tends towards a portrayal of the perfect and unrealistic alpha male hero. I also just can't seem to get worked out over him hitting her; their relationship was captor and prisoner. Now, should he have starved, abused, and hit a helpless prisoner in trying to get her to comply with his demands? Not exactly a wholesome thing to do. That, for me, would be the bigger moral sticking issue than Kerrick hitting Avry. Of course, in an odd twist of karma in the second book, Kerrick (view spoiler) but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

What actually didn't work in the relationship for me was not the early instance of violence or the whole Stockholm Syndrome potential. I thought Avry and Kerrick could work as a couple - except their romance got fast-tracked. They formed a very deep relationship bond out of...what? A very short time running around on adrenaline and getting jerked around emotionally. It's a generic romantic trope of instant love: they were put into the story to fall in love, and so they fell in love.

I just can't seem to buy that you'd get something that deep and lasting out of that zombie-ridden mess. A complaint I have about a lot of pnr/fantasy romance books.

I do have a slightly different question to pose - do you think we would be feeling the same way about this relationship if Avry had lost her temper and punched Kerrick?


Nuran Naiya wrote: "I actually found Kerrick relatively humanlike in a genre that tends towards a portrayal of the perfect and unrealistic alpha male hero. I also just can't seem to get worked out over him hitting her..."

As regards to the captor and prisoner part, I'm okay, though not thrilled, with the starving and shackling, it's an extreme form of being grounded and not going to bed without supper, punishement without violence on disobeying prisoners, probably still being used in some prisons today. But I think as a love interest, the punching was a bit too far. I was hoping they only became friends, nothing more.

I do agree that their romance blossomed out of nothing. I found the transition hard because I hadn't gotten over the hitting part and suddenly there's this connection born from not much, just energy flowing through them. Most of the nice things Kerrick ended up doing was because of Belen, so that made less sense Avery directed her affections at Kerrick instead of Belen.

I had a soft spot for Papa bear. Was hoping they didn't go down the obvious route where the girl ends up with the jerk.


message 4: by Naiya (new)

Naiya Nuran wrote: "As regards to the captor and prisoner part, I'm okay, though not thrilled, with the starving and shackling, it's an extreme form of being grounded and not going to bed without supper, punishement without violence on disobeying prisoners..."

Yeah, but also methods used in abusive relationships. Imo, if we're gonna point and say, "this is abuse and they shouldn't be together because of it," I don't think we should draw artificial (albeit socially-constructed) gradations of when it crosses an arbitrary line into the no-no zone. Mistreatment is mistreatment - though if I had to judge, I would look more harshly on the tying up and starving because it was premeditated and a calculated attempt to break Avry's spirit.

I agree on the Belen point. Man, I wish writers didn't feel the pressure to shoehorn a romantic story into each and every series! (Is it marketing, or would we really not read these books without that promise of romance? Who knows?)


Nuran Naiya wrote: "Nuran wrote: "As regards to the captor and prisoner part, I'm okay, though not thrilled, with the starving and shackling, it's an extreme form of being grounded and not going to bed without supper,..."

I know I'm probably contradicting myself, but I didn't see them in a proper relationship when he was starving her. There's mistreatment of prisoners and then there's mistreatments of prisoners. He's ruthless, he had a job to do, he's been bombarded with a terrible image of mages as selfish and plague starters, but he was too ruthless at his job.

I know that starving and being locked up is abusive, if she wasn't a fugitive and he wasn't a soldier then I definitely would see it as harmful and not a basis to start a relationship at all. The abusers in these relationship are abusing out of fun or spite, not because it's a job that's been given to them.

It's why Kerrick confuses me. I accept he was a captor of a fugitive, and captors have to resort to certain measures but he took his captor's duties too far. If we take out the boyfriend angle, he wouldn't make a bad warden, just have to discipline him when he steps out of line.

But at the same time, he's still a dick for the first half of the book. Avery can do better.

I think I would have gotten over this if, at least, Avery accidentally on propose threw a knife into his leg and didn't heal him. I'm not advocating solving violence with violence but maybe this time it might make me feel better.


message 6: by Naiya (new)

Naiya Naiya wrote: "I think I would have gotten over this if, at least, Avery accidentally on propose threw a knife into his leg and didn't heal him. I'm not advocating solving violence with violence but maybe this time it might make me feel better..."

That reminds me of an episode of Angel (dunno if you watched the show) where his ex-girlfriend, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, comes to town to help him slay some baddies. Everything is honky dory until they get into this argument and she gets mad and hits him. Instant reaction - he hits her back. And wham, you should have seen her shocked and hurt expression, "oh shit, he hit me." nevermind that she's as strong as him.

Of course, she leaves and the forums were all a-buzz about how he hit her and she had to leave etc etc. I found that entire scene and my and other people's reactions to it pretty telling in terms of double standards.


You said: I didn't see them in a proper relationship when he was starving her

For me, it was the same for when he hit her, or for when (in Poison Study series) Valek (view spoiler)


Nuran Naiya wrote: "Naiya wrote: "I think I would have gotten over this if, at least, Avery accidentally on propose threw a knife into his leg and didn't heal him. I'm not advocating solving violence with violence but..."

Yeah, I watched Angel and Buffy. I didn't blame Angel at all for hitting her, they're both the same strength, they can both defend themselves, and she hit him first, his natural reaction would be to defend himself. If Kerrick was weak from injury and Avery hit him, I would condone Avery's action. I'm fine if both parties have equal playing fields.

It's just different when one is stronger than the other and the strongest bullies the weaker one.

I haven't read poison study yet, so I won't check the spoilers. I take the girl falls for the jerk in this one too???


message 8: by Sophie (last edited Jan 01, 2013 03:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sophie I liked him as a love interest. His mistrust and frustration, however uncalled for, portrayed him as a vastly human character (unlike some other stories). His passion for what he believed in was compelling. Although he was abusive and aloof at first, for me that helped with the amazing character development. AND, the reason why he is so horrible in a majority of the book is because the last girl he loved- heck, the last girl he talked to blew him off and betrayed him, so he is mistrustful and wary of the opposite gender.


Maddy i like him, he;s hot, don't know why but i like him.


Samantha The Escapist Snyder seems to have a thing for that stuff from what I can tell. Don't get me wrong, we all have our dirty little preferences but you'll see these veins of abuse sprinkled across her three major trilogies. None of the females so far have escaped all forms of captivity, subjugation, torture and near slavery.

Far as I'm concerned Kerrick striking Avery in this book isn't exactly your standard case of domestic abuse. This is a setting with a lot of conflict and indeed fighting. Avery is no stranger to physical fights and Kerrick has to live by it. The fact that he reduced his strike to a back hand rather than an all out punch is enough for me.

Now I understand that it's different because the moment of the strike was certainly not a dire situation but imagine your significant other, if you and he were running for your lives every day and living rough and tumble and getting attacked on a regular basis don't you think you'd both get a lot tougher and probably be a little less physically careful about each other?

I'm obviously not trying to argue in favor of domestic abuse, but the rules are a little different here.


message 11: by Citra (last edited Jan 10, 2013 12:31AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Citra Only a fool falls in love with a man who backhanded her. Since this is a young adult novel, I am very much worried that teenage girls would believe that it's okay for them to be hit.

A beater will always be a beater, remember that. This Kerrick man is not worth being a hero in this book.


 Demigod of donuts I dont think teenage girls are that clueless, speaking from the POV of a 16 uear old, i absolutely adore maria v snyders work and i love this series. this is where i go when i want to escape the real world, well here or Ixia XD


Nuran Samantha The Escapist wrote: “Now I understand that it's different because the moment of the strike was certainly not a dire situation but imagine your significant other, if you and he were running for your lives every day and living rough and tumble and getting attacked on a regular basis don't you think you'd both get a lot tougher and probably be a little less physically careful about each other?...”

That still makes me uncomfortable. They weren’t each other siginifanct other when he hit her, and I think it would be wrong in any cases. Even if he isn’t an abusive significant other (he might treat Avery like an angel after they got together), him slapping a prisoner who was secured kind of made him seem like someone who lacks control, which means realistically he’ll could lose control again. But no doubt the writer will probably turn him into the perfect boyfriend after this, so the slap will be moot point. But realistically, he would lose control again, and that why it makes me a bit uncomfortable.....


message 14: by Samantha The Escapist (last edited Jan 11, 2013 05:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Samantha The Escapist Nuran wrote: "Samantha The Escapist wrote: “Now I understand that it's different because the moment of the strike was certainly not a dire situation but imagine your significant other, if you and he were running..."


Well, I can't say enough how much I'm not trying to defend this sort of action, but once again the situation here is very different from "I broke your favourite glass" she's refusing to heal someone he loves more than anything and he believes it's just because she doesn't want to. You don't know how you'd act when you're that desperate. Someone can help you do the one thing you've been working on for years and and they continually refuse for what you think is no good reason. Then one day they have the nerve to insult that person. You're desperate and furious and there is a single human being causing all these feelings in you, do you stay controled?

Did you ever see the movie John Q when Denzel Washington holds hostages in the hospital to get his son's transplant? He's an entirely sympathetic character even if anyone watching can agree his actions are wrong. I don't remember it well, it's pretty forgettable, but I'm sure he nearly or does kill some people in the process. This is how desperate Kerrick is, and it's simmering under the surface for the whole novel whether it feels that way from Avry's perspective or not.

Imagine the threat of losing someone who means that much to you and the only person who can help seems to be refusing just because they don't wanna. Now add to that a righteous sense of importance attached to the person who needs help. How do you feel about that?

You said if he lost control then he'll do it again, how often do you think that sort of situation will come up? Especially how often do you think it'll come up in their relationship now that the two are actually communicating? A major part of Kerrick's reaction to the situation was Avry's decision not to explain herself to him and as a result she was acting like a cruel and spoiled brat from his perspective. Every action between them for the bulk of the novel was fueled by misinformation.

Now try reversing the genders in the situation, how does it make you feel? Kerrick is the healer and Avry is dragging him across the country to heal her sister or whatever, he says something scathing and insulting after weeks of refusing to help, Avry slaps him. Is this a big deal? How about in Soap Operas when women slap men? (using it broadly here since my experience with Soap Operas is when "Friends" would make fun of it)

I'm certainly not trying to accuse you or anyone specific of holding these sorts of double standards but people are a lot more okay with a woman hitting a man than they are with a man hitting a woman and that is unacceptable to me. In fact some people are so okay with it that just for a man calling a woman a slut it's apparently okay for her to slap him. I think it is an equal or greater abuse for a woman to strike a man under the assumption that he can't hit her back because he's not allowed. And no matter what the situation is or what was said, the person who takes an encounter from words to blows is the one responsible.

In the end people in general lose control all the time, and every situation is different, it's easy to feel calm when you consider a situation while reading the pages of a book but you can't know how you'd act in the actual situation. I didn't really bat an eye at Kerrick because I'm pretty sure in his position I'd have smacked Avry too.


Sorry to write a novel back to you, and really Snyder probably just put it in because she's got a thing for that stuff, she finds excuses to include these elements in all her books including that intimidation factor between those-who-will-be-lovers. I just think this situation is pretty acceptable and as my first experience with Snyder I thought it worked fine in the story.

Ps: Forgot to mention in my last post that I'm with one of the first comments who said his choice to chain her up daily was a lot worse given its premeditation.

Edit to add: also I haven't read the second book yet so I'm only skimming the other posts in an effort to not read spoilers but also not repeat anyone, sorry if missing anything and have repeated anyone.


Nuran Samantha The Escapist wrote: “Well, I can’t say enough how much I’m not trying to defend this sort of action, but once again the situation here is very different from “I broke your favourite glass” she’s refusing to heal someone he loves more than anything and he believes it’s just because she doesn’t want to. You don’t know how you’d act when you’re that desperate. Someone can help you do the one thing you’ve been working on for years and and they continually refuse for what you think is no good reason. Then one day they have the nerve to insult that person. You’re desperate and furious and there is a single human being causing all these feelings in you, do you stay controled?



I wouldn’t condone Avery slapping a secured prisoner, male or female, either, I mentioned that in one of my previous posts. I think it’s wrong, whatever the gender, to strike a a helpless prisoner that couldn’t defend themself.

I can accept Buffy punching Spike because he was a douche bag who tried to kill her several times. I accept Angel beating Faith up because she tried to kill him several times.

I can’t accept someone punching another who is unable to defend themselves just because they’re too upset to control themselves.

So I’m not sure why gender has come into this...This wasn’t a case of a man hitting a woman OMG THAT’S SO WRONG, this was a case of him hitting her when she was a secured prisoner and was defensless. I think resorting to hitting or slapping without good reason is a very volatile and aggressive trait, whatever the gender.

And being chained up and having little portions of food is lightweight punishment compared to pain of getting hit in the face. So I don’t think it’s worst at all. I know if I had to go with pain or feeling a bit hungry, I know which one I choose.

And would I stay in control. If that person was already my prsioner and helpless, then yes, I would. I like to think I have enough common sense that bullying my captive to help me isn’t a good thing. I’d be extremely upset and anrgy, and probably be shouty and shaking in rage and scream all my anger out at him, but I wouldn’t punch him.

He’s a trained soldier and in his twenties, he really should have more self control, it kind of made him seem immature too.

If anything, if he isn’t an aggressive douche, which is extreme, it makes his seem like a dumbass, and Avery shouldn’t have gotten together with him, purely on his stupidity of trying to convince someone with a slap and not figuring things out long before the end. She nearly died healing Papa bear that he used his forest power to help her, he couldn’t put one and one together?????


Samantha The Escapist Nuran wrote: "Samantha The Escapist wrote: “Well, I can’t say enough how much I’m not trying to defend this sort of action, but once again the situation here is very different from “I broke your favourite glass”..."

Was she definitely chained up when he hit her? I thought it happened a little later after the kidnapping. I still don't think it's that big a deal given the situation but I wouldn't have considered it defendable if I'd remembered she was in chains. My friend also doesn't think it's that big a deal, but her and her ex boyfriend used to fist fight in place of arguing (which I don't agree with) so I'm not surprised.

If she was in chains that I'm leaning more toward the point someone else made earlier that she was a captive so I'm still feeling pretty meh on the point.

Didn't it say in the book that he didn't hit her very hard? I can't imagine choosing to be in chains and half starved every night over a simple backhand to the face - unless when you compared them you meant the chains vs. constant beating rather than the one hit. I think captivitiy is far worse than hitting but then I don't remember if her hands were bound or not, if she had a chance to hit him back.

But everyone considers abuse differently anyway, I don't think you and I will ever agree on it. I still can't see how people don't agree with me when I say Howard and Bernadette on the Big Bang Theory are a terrible example of a couple and that Howard is an abusive prig who doesn't deserve anyone at all like Bernadette.

Also I didn't mean to play the gender card where it hadn't already been brought into play, I thought that was part of your original meaning. Plus it's a rant that is very near and dear to my heart, most of my friends have always been guys and I feel really bad for the ones who will take a beating from a woman because they're not allowed to hit back.


message 17: by Naiya (last edited Jan 11, 2013 08:37AM) (new)

Naiya Samantha The Escapist wrote: "Well, I can't say enough how much I'm not trying to defend this sort of action, but once again the situation here is very different from "I broke your favourite glass"..."

Agree. I wish this were a discussion so I could vote up that post! Very well articulated.


message 18: by Talyah (new)

Talyah Just reading Samantha's post makes me want to go pick up that book immediately. Maybe I'm a little crazy, but this kinda stuff makes a good book for me =)


Samantha The Escapist Talyah wrote: "Just reading Samantha's post makes me want to go pick up that book immediately. Maybe I'm a little crazy, but this kinda stuff makes a good book for me =)"

I think it's Snyder's best book, but that might be because it's the first I've read by her so I wasn't wise her to patterns and annoying habits - same reason the first book I read by Cassandra Clare was my favourite till I tried to reread it. But still, this is Snyder's most recent so I think it probably is her best to date.


Allie Samantha The Escapist wrote: "Snyder seems to have a thing for that stuff from what I can tell. Don't get me wrong, we all have our dirty little preferences but you'll see these veins of abuse sprinkled across her three major t..."

Avry was a means to an end for Kerrick. That was why he treated her the way he did. It was for Ryne. He waited for her to give in. There was a reason for his actions..they were great but she meant nothing to him. She was set to be executed. Those actions I can let go... However, When he hit her, he hit her out for anger for a few words. She should never have ended up with him.


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