Touch of Power – Maria V. Snyder. (Book 1 of the Avry of Kazan series)
My current foray into YA fiction continues…
Before the plague began, Avry was training as a healer in the fifteen realms. When the virulence of the plague became obvious, healers were at first treated with suspicion and then the witch hunts began. Avry spent three years in hiding before being rustled out and kidnapped by Kerrick, a man working on behalf of Prince Ryne’s Kingdom. Avry discovers she is the last healer left alive and her forced meeting with the artificially comatose Prince Ryne will ultimately end in her death.
This book moves at a fast pace. As with all fantasy there are diversions on the way to the final showdown. Well written fantasy should integrate these quests seamlessly; I begin to lose interest in a fantasy novel when the diversions become too far removed from the ultimate goal. I dislike feeling cheated that perhaps the author is using the side story as padding. Luckily, Maria Snyder has kept good focus and the further I read the less I even noticed the digressions.
I found the setting of the fifteen realms to be realistic. The realms have a solid history and the geography of each of the regions is unique. Both the towns and the countryside are well described and across the fifteen realms unusual plants grow and imaginative animals roam. I liked the death lily plants and towards the end the importance of these flowers begins to be revealed.
While I liked the character of Avry, it was her enemy Tohon who really stole the show for me. Tohon only began to appear in the final third of the novel but his introduction coincided with a faster, edgier pace and storyline. He is a handsome man who uses some sort of ‘sexual magic’ to make women swoon. I know this sounds like quite a cliché but Snyder handles this character well and I found him incredibly entertaining. Tohon is a devious and enigmatic dictator in his kingdom. Still reacting to his father’s disinterest in him, Tohon feels he has a lot to prove. He is much more memorable than both Belen, Avry’s gentle protector and Kerrick, the gruff leader of the kidnappers.
The magic Tohon adds to the story has secured the book a 5 star rating from me rather than the initial 4 stars I had in mind. The final chapters of Touch of Power bode well for the already published second book in the series, Scent of Magic.
Touch of Power: 5 Stars
A similar fantasy book for adults:
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss. (Book 1 of the Kingkiller Chronicle series). Absolutely amazing. I read it a year ago and could not put it down. 5 Stars, deserving of more!
Other YA fantasy books currently on my to read list:
Poison Study – Maria Snyder. (Book 1 of the Chronicles of Ixia Series).
Seraphina – Rachel Hartman.
Magyk – Angie Sage. (Book 1 of the Septimus Heap Series)
Angelfall – Susan Ee. (Book 1 of the Penryn and the Book of Days Series).
The Ambassador’s Mission – Trudi Canavan. (Book 1 of the Traitor Spy Trilogy). Really, the first in any series by Trudi Canavan would be a good start as she seems quite prolific in this genre.
- Book Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (thesolitarybookworm.com)
- Book Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder (thesolitarybookworm.com)
- Obsessed. Thanks Snyder. (mekalous.wordpress.com)