Category Archives: Maria V. Snyder
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes 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 Territories, 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…
Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Please, Sir. May I have some more?
Touch of Power may be mildly similar to Poison Study which does bring in an element of predictability but it doesn’t feel repetitive. This world is far larger and more complex than that of the Study trilogy.
Avry has been in hiding and on the run for 3 years and she’s tired of it. After people blamed the spread of the plague on healers, they’re captured and executed whenever they’re found. However, Avry can’t stop herself from healing fatally ill children and each time she does she must move on in case the child’s parents turn her in, though this time the sickness she’s assumed overcomes her and she’s captured. While in prison awaiting execution she’s approached by a man called Kerrick who breaks her out so she can heal his “friend”.
Unfortunately this friend is hundreds of miles away and with a bounty on her head the journey is dangerous even with Kerrick’s men accompanying them. When Avry is informed of who she’s to heal, she refuses because it’s a prince accused of inhumane crimes. Assuming his illness, the plague, would mean certain death for her. Sacrificing her life for a child is one thing, they’re innocent but for a cruel and powerful man -no. Kerrick reacts badly, punishing her until she changes her mind. She’s too stubborn so they try to change her mind in other ways while they travel.
On the journey she gets to know each man, saving her hate for the mysterious Kerrick. They teach her survival and fighting skills so she can defend herself. Along the way they begin to understand more about the plague, it’s link to the sentient network of huge human-eating venus flytrap flowers and the healer’s guild. They also encounter a real madman, Tohon, who can influence and read thoughts and emotions using it to gain more territory and power. His experiments are nightmarish and genocidal. Politics and intrigue ensue. There are many fighting for power in the game of
thrones kings in this post-apocalyptic fantasy.
The hundreds of miles Avry & co travel, and on foot, makes my feet ache in sympathy. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and Avry’s journey spanning about 6 months. I loved the high level of detail involved and the intricacies of the characters’ magical abilities. I laughed at the Men in Black moment when Avry shouts “Eat me!” to the mutant plant. In fact, I did a lot of laughing. Avry and her merry men grow to be a tight-knit family who jump at the chance to tease, compete and help each other. I was sad when a character died but I have a feeling we’ll see them again though I’m worried about how they’ll be changed by the experience. I wish I had a Papa Bear and friends like these who’d die for me if need be, and vice versa.
Kerrick and Avry’s relationship develops and evolves slowly as he learns how to handle his emotions. His desperate 2-year search for a healer and Avry’s stubborn refusal turns him into an unlikeable man but with the persuasion of his men he pushes back his anger and gets to know Avry and comes to understand what makes her tick. He shares his skills with her and they come to find they can share and enhance each others magic, something they never thought possible. I enjoyed their slow-burning combustible chemistry, Kerrick’s jealousy and finally his realisation that not every woman is like his ex Jael.
And can I just say I love these covers! It’s rare when I want both. One shows pure grit, determination and “power” (LEFT). The other, the delicate yet beautiful effect a “touch” can have (RIGHT).
I definitely look forward to the next installment of this series. Bring it on!
❝Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion – between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again – while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.❞
Read: 25 Feb 2011
Published March 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Outside In, the second book in the “Inside Out” series, picks up six weeks post-Force of Sheep rebellion which occurred in Inside Out. Trella, used to being the Queen of the Pipes and now seen as victorious leader of the rebellion, is doing all she can to avoid any responsibility, most importantly aftermath clean up and reorganization of the Insiders.
The Insiders, now a combination of Uppers and Scrubs, find themselves under control once again. But, this time, instead of Pop Cops and the Travas, there’s a Committee – “comprised of one representative from each of the nine upper families and one leader from each scrub area like hydroponics and waste-water. Eighteen in all. Since an even number could cause problems when members voted, a nineteenth spokesperson had been added.” They’d wanted that person to Trella, but she refused, taking position of Consultant. Jacy filled the nineteenth spot.
Despite Trella’s hopes that the creation of the Committee would solve the problems faced by the Insiders, people remained resistant to them. Scrubs eventually stopped doing their jobs because Uppers refused to get their hands dirty and help out. Chaos was not far behind.
Trella’s world continues to change throughout the book. Her physical world is growing. They’ve discovered levels above those where they’ve spent their lives. They are trying to remodel them to accommodate all the Insiders in a more comfortable, spacious setting. Her personal life is changing as well. Her relationship with Riley is growing; Dr. Lamont, who believes Trella’s her long-lost daughter, tries to prove that she is on Trella’s side; and Trella must realize that she needs to step up if she wants things to work Inside.
With every turn of the page, you question, along with Trella, the loyalty of those in her life. The lines are blurred as she becomes a leader once again.
For the first 1/2 of the book, readers who fell in love with Trella’s quick thinking and do-or-die-trying attitude will be disappointed to find her avoiding everything. But, once Trella realizes that she is in fact needed and can help, she accepts the challenge with the gusto and persistence we’ve come to expect from her.
The relationship between Trella and Riley was one that you could relate to easily. Their feelings for each other and their attraction was more evident in this edition. Though the story remains PG-rated, they had some hot warm new love moments. The ups and downs they faced and their reactions to them were realistic, even if frustrating at times.
I really enjoyed this addition to the series. I’m hopeful that the series will continue, there are still questions left unanswered. However, the ending did wrap up much of the story which leads me to wonder if it will be a duology instead.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for allowing me the opportunity to read this ARC.
Other books in the series: