Touch Of Power Maria V. Snyder Book Review

OH THANK GOODNESS YOU GUYS! Seriously, I am so so glad I decided to read Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder as my first book of 2013 as I found it to be highly satisfying and a good note to start the year on. Also? It has been WAY too long since I’ve read a Maria V. Snyder book. I KNOW. Awful right? Plus, it’s kind of cool to start the year with a book I purchased rather than one I’ve received for review. And I imagine some of you might disagree but I think it sets a nice little precedent. Anyways. Touch Of Power was romantic and had plagues and a fierce main character with a big heart and I know you all are like okay you plague loving weirdo, but for serious, I gobbled this noise up.

Touch Of Power Maria V Snyder Book Cover

Touch Of Power takes place in a land known as the Fifteen Realms. These realms have been decimated in population because of an incurable plague. The survivors blame a group of magic holders known as Healers for the plague because they believe the Healers started the plague. Avry is a healer and has been on the run for three years. All of the other healers she either hasn’t heard from or are dead. You see, there’s a bounty on the healers for 20 gold pieces which is a huge deal because everyone is poor. Anyways, Avry cannot resist healing a little kid and rather than be thankful, the townspeople turn on her. She’s saved though at the last minute by Kerrick who then proceeds to kidnap her in hopes she will heal someone. And that’s JUST THE BEGINNING. Y’all, things get real in Touch Of Power.

Avry was my sort of main character. She’s not quite stubborn, but she’s headstrong. She is very determined to make her own choices and won’t let anyone take her agency away from her. Unlike, Yelena from Poison Study, she doesn’t carry around a dark past, well at least in comparison. Anyways, Avry totally does have her problems, but I ended up really liking her because she comes across as warm and open and someone who genuinely cares about others.

Just as I can ramble for a long paragraph about Valek, I can ramble a little about Kerrick. He’s the leader of this small band of dudes and saves Avry from certain death because he knows she is a healer. Anyways, the two totally butt heads at first. I actually started off strongly disliking Kerrick because he does something VERY awful, but I guess I don’t know, my mind changed. He started to come across as someone who was very loyal and that mattered to me. Plus, he’s the type that doesn’t let emotion show — the STOIC type and I’m just going to say I am so glad to read a book with the love interest not getting all emo and upset over the stupidest things like another book I just finished that I won’t muck up this review with.

I have to say, I would have liked a bigger and better map in my copy. I bought the Kindle Fire version of Touch Of Power, but the map was so small and I couldn’t read the names of the places or zoom in. I know, that’s a silly complaint but I’m one of those  readers who LOVES a good map. What I did love about the world building was the magic system. There are various types of magic users that correlate with the elements and also with life and death. I liked that each element has a draw back. Also, not everyone is able to use magic. FURTHER! There are various guilds for the different magics and people are apprentices and whatnot. AND OMG! There’s a disease and it’s incurable, and I mentioned that in the top paragraph, but if you’re like me and love a good plague it just bears repeating that you should read this book.

If you read for the romance, note Touch Of Power is not quite as swoonworthy as Poison Study, but I think that it’s more romantic than the Inside Out books. The romance is one of those slow burns enjoy the journey sort of romances. What I mean by this is, if you’ve ever read a YA or adult book with romance before you can obviously tell who is going to get together — it’s just a matter of getting to that destination. AND SO! It does take Avry a bit of time to get to the destination, but as trust is built and gained,  that is the part that I LOVE reading, the sort of slow build slow burn swoons.

Unfortunately, I was not entirely in love with the writing style. I didn’t feel the need to highlight or quote anything in Touch Of Power. It’s not like one of those books with delicious prose. HOWEVER, the pacing is quite good. I wasn’t like ugh we’re still in this realm, stop staring and the trees and pick up the damn pace. Nope. Instead, I was content with where the book was going. So, I liked the plotting and the characterization, but I thought the writing was kind of basic.

I actually really enjoyed Maria V. Snyder’s Touch Of Power and was pleased with where the book went and how the plot played out. I whipped through this book in no time as well because I found the disease and the political struggle between the different realms very compelling, not to mention the slow burns ALL OF THEM.

Disclosure: Purchased Copy when it was a $1.99 Kindle Daily Deal

Other reviews of Touch Of Power by Maria V. Snyder:

Giraffe Days – “Snyder’s writing continues to grow in confidence and style.

The Book Rat – “an engaging story with rootforable characters

The Book Swarm – “a great start to a new series

Books by Maria V. Snyder:

Poison Study
Magic Study
Inside Out
Outside In

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Chicka chicka yeah for this book!

    (It’s still early and for some reason that was my go-to reaction for this. MOVING ON.) I think the sequel to this just came out/is coming out soon and I’m SO EXCITED.

    I remember not liking Kennick at first either, but think I’ve blocked out the reason…

    • Hahhaha yes, that is the PERFECT go to reaction.

      I’m really pumped up for the sequel too.

      Oh man, Kerrick (because I messed up the spelling) did come off as awful and it’s probably a good thing to block out the reason.

  2. Yay! You finally read this! I knew you would love it. There’s totes nothing wrong with starting the year on a non-reviewing note. You review plenty, girl. TREAT YOSELF.

    Everyone loves maps, but I like never look at them in my books. O_O

    True about the writing. I’m not like OMG THIS WRITING, but I love the characters and the story a whole lot.

    Warning: book two was not as good. 🙁

    • I’ve actually read more non-review books than review so far this year… like 3 non-review to 1 for review. But that’ll change. Although I kind of hope I read a lot more purchased books.


      I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking okay, the writing isn’t the best, but the book is super compelling.


  3. Oh YAY! I really liked Touch of Power. It was my first experience reading a book by Maria V. Snyder, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a refreshing addition to the growing collection of fantasy books I like! Plus, I did like the second book, although I know its been getting mixed reviews from people.

    • Oh man you should read Poison Study soon, I bet you’ll really like that. It’s way way better than Touch Of Power.

      I’m glad you to see you liked Scent of Power, that makes me look forward to trying it and makes me want to go in with an open mind.

  4. You’re lucky you got a map, though – I read this from Netgalley and it had no map at all, and it would have come in so handy! I didn’t see the map until I bought a hard copy of it. I got the second book from Netgalley too but decided to read the paperback instead – for the map! (Oh and the lack of formatting on Netgalley titles drives me nuts! I like proper formatting!)

    But this was such a good read, she really knows how to write a good solid fantasy story that reads fast and entertaining and still gives you things to guess about. Though for sure her characters and storylines are stronger than her writing. (I’ve been hesitant to start reading her first trilogy because of the writing quality – the first Glass book was a bit weak in that regard.)

    • Oh man that would drive me up the wall not having a map at ALL at least the microscopic map that I had was SOME help.

      Lack of formatting drives me nuts too.

      See, I loved Poison Study and was instantly entranced, but yeah I think the characterization and storyline outshines writing ability with her books as well. I still need to read the Glass books and also the last Study book.

  5. Great review! I agree that it sets a good precedent to start the year off with a book you purchased. And I love any book that makes you want to gobble it right up! Really enjoyed Poison Study, so have high hopes for this one too!

    Alexia’s Books and Such…

    • Thank you. Yes, I love the idea of starting with I book I bought myself, it makes me feel more agency when it comes to my reading choices.

      I think if you liked Poison Study you’ll dig this book too.

      Happy reading! 🙂

  6. I liked this book almost as much as Poison Study but after reading the second, I now think I like Avry more than Yelena (but Valek more than Kerrick, hands down!) I found the plot of this extremely fast moving and entirely engaging-I basically only put it down to charge my nook.

  7. I really wanted to like this one. I liked 2/3 of the Study series, so I had high hopes for this one — or at least the first book in the series. Unfortunately, it was a DNF for me … I just couldn’t get into the writing style. And it felt like nothing was happening. It’s too bad … maybe I’ll find the Maria V. Snyder book for me! Or just reread Poison Study again.

    Great review, April!

    • Awwww, that sucks that you couldn’t get into this one. Yeah, the writing style is far from perfect but for me I was really into the characters and the plot.

      You should try her Inside Out/Outside In books, you might like those.

      Thank you. 🙂

  8. I still need to read the last book in the Study series. Like you though, I think it’s been way too long since I read a Maria V. Snyder book!

    P.S. Don’t you just love daily deals? I always get super excited when it’s a book I want to read. 🙂

    • Yes! For me it was like a year since I read a Maria V. Snyder book an I had total withdrawal.

      I am a HUGE fan of the daily deals. They are always one of the first things I look for and check out in the morning.

  9. Oh my goodness. I have no reading credibility sometimes because I haven’t read anything by this author BUT WAIT I actually have this book sitting on my Kindle from freakin NetGalley! How bad how bad. I like that you liked it because it is always sitting there, in the back of my mind when I’m flipping thru trying to figure out what I want to read on impulse (which is always, every time, pretty much). I like the way the next book is about to be out. Perhaps I should move this one up steadily on the pile and read it soon? It sounds like something I need right about now after a couple of intense issues-NA/YA contemps. They were good, but something like this is always fun. PLUS the cover looks really pretty blown up on your blog and I’m kind of a cover girl. You may have sold me on this one since I’m a slacker and haven’t read this author yet. Go, you!