Redonk Nutshell: A fugitive healer is reluctantly convinced to heal a deathly ill magician

I like Maria V. Snyder for several reasons. 1) she’s a local author to me 2) I loved her Poison Study series 3) her world building is phenomenal  So I was excited to get my hands on this book.

Touch of Power is the first in a YA series about Avry, a young healer on the run from persecution of her kind.  Healers were blamed for the start of an epidemic of plague that wiped out a better part of their civilization.  When Avry is finally caught and nearly put to death by a mob, she welcomes her fate with open arms.  When she finds herself being rescued by a ragtag band of men, she questions their motives.  Their leader, Kerrick, has been searching for her for months.  His motive? To heal their leader, a magician that will be able to stand against the rogue magician raising forces around the land.  Avry wants no part of it – not only does she not like the magician she’s to heal, he’s also carrying the plague, a disease she can cure but ultimately will kill her in return.  Thus begins the long and tricky journey of convincing Avry it’s worth her while to heal their leader and sentence herself to death.  In the meantime, she’s finding herself more and more drawn to Kerrick, an attraction that puts both of them at risk.

It’s plainly obvious from the first few paragraphs that this book is written for a young adult audience.  There’s something…lacking, for lack of a better word, in the tone.  I almost, almost, opted to pass this book by but I huffed and tsk’ed myself and stuck with it.  For the most part I’m really glad I did.

What saved this book is the story.  Where Marie V. Snyder lacks for grandiose writing proficiency she makes up for in story telling.  I absolutely HAD TO KNOW what was going to happen next.  I was intrigued by this plague-ridden world and the emerging rulers trying to take it over.  I was engrossed enough in the story to overlook the flatness of the exposition and simplistic dialogue.  I imagine this book will be a welcome addition to many fans of fantasy.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder, 400 pgs, 12/20/11

Rating: C

Romance: 1/5                    Raunch: 1/5

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