Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Touch of Power

Touch of Power, by Maria V. Snider. The GoodReads summary:
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...
This book was surprisingly good but not surprisingly great. I mean, it was definitely better than I thought it would be, but it didn’t quite manage to awe me.

In the fantasy genre, I tend to gravitate towards books with a band of friends on a quest to save the kingdom—with a substantial dash of romance thrown in, of course. And since Touch of Power was that type of book, I liked it in that regard. I also loved the secondary characters in the group of friends and thought they really rounded out story and were hilarious to boot.

For some reason, I was expecting insta-love and love triangles in this book, so I was relieved to discover that there was neither. Avry and Kerrick have a very slow relationship—it’s one of those where they start off hating each other then gradually get to know each other better. I usually like that kind of romance, and I mostly did in this book, but I also felt like the shift was a little too abrupt from hating to liking. It’s like all of a sudden they’re in love, and I was just like, “Wait. What? Why?” I needed a little more proof that they actually had a reason for their feelings to change.

I liked the idea of the storyline and thought the whole thing with the life and death lilies was really unique, but the execution of the plot was a little lacking, in my opinion. It just wasn’t quite tight or seamless enough for me to really get sucked in. The one thing that legitimately bugged me was the dialog—it had a tendency to feel too modern. Like the speech patterns and some of the vocab didn’t seem to really jive with the medieval setting the book ostensibly takes place in, so it tended to be jarring for me.

Overall, I thought this was a decent book, but it didn’t quite wow me. The basic ideas and characters were interesting, but the book wasn’t enough to really hook me.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

1 comment:

  1. Modern dialogue in a medieval setting is something I worry about in my own writing too. It's a very hard thing to master. I have heard great things about this one so I might give it a try. I love the idea of it all and a bonus for using the lily as part of the story.


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