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83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new series!
As a fan of M. V. Snyder I was really excited to get my hands on the first book in her new 'Healing' series and was not disappointed!

Touch of Power introduces us to the Fifteen Realms, a world ruined by plague that now faces war as its surviving leaders fight over land and power. At the centre of the story is Avry, a healer from the realm of Khazan. As healers...
Published on 20 Sep 2011 by L. M. Cowan

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not her best either.
Avry is too much like Snyder's previous character whom I found to be a little irritating. However, the story is interesting, being a general adventure on the way to a bigger one. Avry is a magical healer who has a need to help people when she sees them in pain, but due to a terrible plague, which decimated the population and which was attributed to all of Avry's kind,...
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by C. C. Chivers


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83 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new series!, 20 Sep 2011
By 
L. M. Cowan (England) - See all my reviews
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As a fan of M. V. Snyder I was really excited to get my hands on the first book in her new 'Healing' series and was not disappointed!

Touch of Power introduces us to the Fifteen Realms, a world ruined by plague that now faces war as its surviving leaders fight over land and power. At the centre of the story is Avry, a healer from the realm of Khazan. As healers were blamed for the plague, Avry is ostracised and hunted, but when she is rescued from the guillotine by a band of men who want her to heal their friend, she begins an epic journey through the realms, uncovering the truth about her rescuers, their friend and the plague itself.

This summary doesn't really give the book justice - as fans of Snyder's 'Study' or 'Glass' series know, her stories are always full of twists, careful detail and most importantly interesting, well developed characters. I felt that a Touch of Power followed a similar formula to the 'Study' and 'Glass' series, with its strong female lead, epic journeys and a vivid, varied and often amusing supporting cast. Its a formula that works and with a whole new world to explore, the first in this series was just as exciting and 'un-put-downable'!

One of the best things about the story was the way in which Snyder introduces and builds her story world as we go along, we learn things as Avry does or as they become important, so there were no long explanations or history lessons, which gave the story excellent pace.

A great start to a new fantasy series - looking forward to the next book!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, perhaps?, 12 Oct 2011
By 
Paul Lynch (UK) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed Maria Snyder's Study series, but was disappointed with her later Glass series. So I came to Touch of Power with some trepidation. To cut a long story short, I found it much better than Glass, although not as vibrant as Study. Although as the first in a series, it shows evidence of more mature world building, and I guess greater potential - if it can be fulfilled.

Avry is a magical healer, one of the very few remaining, in a world where, a few years earlier, a plague struck: one that the healers couldn't cure. The trick with healers is that they themselves heal very quickly, and they heal by taking on a persons injuries. But with a plague that kills healers, this will lead to considerable complications. Due to the circumstances in which the plague spread, the healers became hated and were hunted and killed. Avry has survived so far by running and hiding.

So when Avry is finally captured, she is rescued from execution by a guy who seems to dislike her, and is rude to her. What's more he represents someone who, it is gradually revealed, Avry knows, and strongly dislikes. If you've read Maria Snyder's previous books, you will know where this is going.

As seems inevitable in the first of a trilogy, we end with most of the themes of this series unresolved, but it's not unsatisfying, and certainly not a cliff hanger.

This book is going to appeal to the young adult market, and those who enjoy a strong female lead with a touch of romance. I am looking forward to the sequels; this doesn't yet make up for the disappointing Glass trilogy, but I have my hopes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another delightful series from Snyder, 19 Sep 2011
By 
V. Nicholl (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoy Snyder's books and 'Touch of Power' was no exception to this rule. Yes, they are a bit predictable (the romances can be seen coming a mile off, even if one isn't quite sure why certain people end up together) but no less enjoyable for it. I also like how you can't be sure that the main characters/their companians are going to survive/survive unscathed.

Avry of Kazan is a healer (she can take your injury into herself and heal it if it is not too severe, if it is, she dies). Normally this would mean a lifetime of hard work, respect and honour. Unfortunately a terrible plague has ravaged the 15 kingdoms and the healers are blamed for it. With a price on their heads they are hunted down and executed.

Avry, too, is caught, but is saved by a band of men who want her to heal Prince Ryne. But he is the same prince who helped the blame be placed on the healers. Avry doesn't believe she should help him (especially as the plague is one of the things a healer can only heal at the cost of their own life).

Cue adventures galore, misunderstandings aplenty and heroes you can cheer for and worry for. I'm very much looking forward to book 2!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining fantasy, 27 Sep 2011
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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For the start of her third trilogy, Ms Synder sticks to what she knows best, a strong central female character, a bantering support cast and a tiny bit of romance.

The scenario here is a post plague fantasy world with Avry as the only surviving person with healing magic and as such she is a valuable commodity for both the forces of good and evil. Trouble is, she is not sure which side is which and she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.....

It has to be said that the author writes easy to read and page turning fantasy and she does have an engaging style. As a middle aged male I am never sure if this is what I should be enjoying or even if it is actually designed for Young Adults, it sits on that grey area that is hard to describe. On the plus side for me and any potential male readers, the romantic bits are very light thank Goodness.

But I have to admit I did like this, the pages flew by and I liked the scenario and the characters the author has placed within it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read., 8 Oct 2011
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E. E. Hughes (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This is the first book by Maria V Snyder that I have read. It's quite a light read, which made it a nice change from some of the longer Fantasy books on the market, but at the same time this meant that it was missing some of the meat that these books have and as a result the world did not feel as fully realised.

I have given the book four stars because I feel that three is too low, but ultimately I would like to give it three and a half.

The main character Avry is very strong and independent without ramming it down your throat. I enjoyed the friction between her and the other characters. The pace with which her back story was revealed was really good and kept me hooked. I really enjoyed watching her change her mind from her initial point blank refusal to help, and only changing her mind on her own terms to boot.

My main problems with the book was that it was a bit predictable in places and at times everything was too neatly sorted out.

I will probably buy the next book in the series, but I am not in any hurry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another highly entertaining fantasy book., 6 Oct 2011
By 
JennyD (Manchester, Uk) - See all my reviews
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The book tells the story of Avry, a young woman who has the gift of healing. The world has been thrown into turmoil after a terrible plague and since someone needs to take the blame the finger has been pointed at the healers. Running away from certain imprisonment and death Avry keeps her distance from people until she makes a fatal mistake and heals a young girl. She is quickly arrested but is rescued by a group of men who want her to heal Prince Ryne, the only man who can bring order to the world.
Its a highly entertaining read, filled with bags of imagination and loads of humour. I must admit i'm a big Snyder fan. Admittedly i didn't much care for the last book in her Glass trilogy since i thought it was unneccesary and failed to finish it but she's back on track with this great book. I certainly smell another trilogy and i would highly recommend this book (and her Study trilogy) to anyone who enjoys engrossing and fun fantasy books with a delightful vein of humour running through them. Snyder is fast becoming known for fast-paced, highly creative books with strong female characters. Certainly a author to watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete return to form, 26 Sep 2011
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catherine "Catherine" (poole, dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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After the slightly disappointing Storm Glass trilogy Maria Snyder makes a stonkingly good return to form, with this book - the start of her Healer trilogy.
Avry is the last remaining healer in a world that has been decimated by a seemingly unstoppable plague. Why is she the only remaining healer ? Well - the healers have been blamed for creating the plague, & in a remarkably short sighted way, the general populace have hunted down & executed healers as punishment for creating said plague (Or did they ?)
Now it's up to Avry to save the man responsible for putting a price on any healers head, & together with her band of guardians, find out what the dickens is going on in the Fifteen Realms !
There's adventure, deception, death, double dealing, an extremly creepy villain, and a soupcon of romance......I could not put this book down, & I can't wait for the second installment . Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not her best either., 18 Oct 2011
By 
C. C. Chivers "ccchivers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Avry is too much like Snyder's previous character whom I found to be a little irritating. However, the story is interesting, being a general adventure on the way to a bigger one. Avry is a magical healer who has a need to help people when she sees them in pain, but due to a terrible plague, which decimated the population and which was attributed to all of Avry's kind, healers are now despised and anyone whom Avry helps, has the potential to have her arrested and killed.

This is ultimately what happens when she can no longer stand the pain of a small child and heals her. The parents, though grateful, also hate her and, whilst she is still recovering, turn her in to the authorities. But here is where it gets interesting. She is saved by a stranger and his gang of men for a specific purpose and the story centres around their journey to that purpose and the interactions between each member of this gang and Avry. Avry finds unlikely friendships and discovers secrets of her order and of a strange flower called a 'death lily' which could have major repercussions in the future...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, a disappointment., 3 May 2013
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I feel strange, being the first person to leave this book a 1-star review. I usually try to avoid this, but I also pride myself on being honest, and I'm afraid this is simply not a good book. Please bear in mind that this review is my personal opinion, however: as you can see, many other people have clearly enjoyed this book a lot.

I originally downloaded this book for free during an Amazon sale. For that I am grateful, as I would have been peeved if I had spent money on it. I was lured in by the high number of positive reviews, and was really looking forward to trying another fantasy series... sadly, I will not be getting any more of these.

My main complaints for this stem largely from the poor character development and predictable plot. The author has created an interesting world, but it feels strangely flat and underdeveloped. Sadly, so do most of the characters; at one point, one of the characters died (not uncommon in a world ravaged by plague and conflict) and even though I was sure it was a moment designed to provoke an emotional response, it failed to do so simply because the character involved was so one dimensional. Even the main character feels like more of a plot point than a person, and a lot of her decision and changes of heart feel forced and wooden. The romantic element of the story is one of the most predictable I have ever come across, having been rehashed in many other books in many other genres. Now, there's nothing wrong with reusing a winning formula- but it has to be done well, and sadly in this book it hasn't been. The same goes for a number of plot twists that were not in fact twists at all and could be seen from a mile away. There are also a number of historic parts to the story that feel fairly poorly thought out, as if they were included as an afterthought to justify some of the more irrational elements of behaviour exhibited by some of the characters. The last few chapters felt very rushed, as if the author felt she was running out of space and wanted to be done with it quickly. This is odd, because I found a fair part of the early story seemed to drag, and I feel it could have been wrapped up a bit more cleanly, possibly leaving room for some character development that did not revolve around sudden changes of opinion or contrived 'romantic' conflicts.

My other complaints are lesser, as they are things that I normally forgive if a story is engaging and entertaining. Most noticeably, there were a few references to things that felt jarring in a fantasy world (most noticeably Champagne, which is named after a region of France and hence, is unlikely to be found by that name in a world where France does not exist). There were also some spelling mistakes, but as I said, I would normally overlook that. In fact, in a book that is holding my attention, I probably wouldn't even have noticed them in the first place!

Overall, I would neither recommend this book to anyone else, nor consider spending money on any others in the series. It has left me completely cold, which is a real shame. I really was hoping that it would be a fun read.

I don't really want this entire review to be negative (it makes me feel mean), so I will say this: the author has had some nice ideas, and has made a good start at putting together an interesting setting. I hope this world develops and becomes more vibrant and engaging in future books... although I will not be there to see it. I also wish the author great success for the future. I can see from other reviews that they have quite a following, so they must be doing something right somewhere!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 2 Jan 2014
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This was rather refreshing for a fantasy novel with completely original ideas. The only thing I think that let it down was the detail of the writing; it was inconsistent and felt rushed through. I felt that the character development was incomplete and struggled to connect to the characters and events as a result. Overall a good read which kept my interest and I will read the others but I wish more detail had been put in to make it seem less "amature-ry".
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Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan Book 1) (An Avry of Kazan Novel)
Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan Book 1) (An Avry of Kazan Novel) by Maria V Snyder (Paperback - 6 April 2012)
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