Maria V. Snyder, I congratulate you. You drew me into the story immediately, and kept me in there. Not once did I feel like I should set it aside, that the plot could wait, that I could go read another more action-oriented story. Though, I admit, Touch of Power did have quite its share of action, it also contained a plot I would never see coming. It's truly wonderful even in the end, Snyder could add something to the book, a new factor to check into, but I wouldn't feel like, "Hey, wait a minute. That doesn't even make sense. Quit making up weird things to move the story along!" It actually corresponded with the entire story, and fit together. It made absolute sense how it could've been possible the entire time, and that the protagonist truly didn't know it was possible. Even better? No cliffhanger. You can see where the story could go on, but it feels resolved.
Avry is nearly my ideal character, symbolizing strength through suffering, but at times her strength veers towards the territory of stubborn and makes many of her decisions incredibly illogical. As well, I'd truly like to know more about her past to be able to understand and sympathize more for her loss during the plague.
Kerrick, Avry's love interest, was a bit of a jerk in the beginning. (Hint: Boys, don't chain girls you like to trees. They don't like it, trust me.) While he didn't completely redeem himself in the end, what I admire about him is his devotion to friends. He'd do anything for his little band of "Arvy-rescuers". (Don't blame me, I don't know what else to call his little group . . .)
I love talking about the villains. Tohon is no different. He's got the slightly clichéd sad childhood that drove him to commit such atrocious acts, and certainly seems like the sort of person to cook up the most gruesome of experiments. To put it more simply, he's a total slimy greaseball. And his personality mirrors the little boy who didn't get the bigger slice of birthday cake, and would in turn destroy the other little boy who did through whatever means he can.
In the end, I didn't find Touch of Power as powerful as some of her previous books, especially Poison Study but still enjoyed it very much. Touch of Power features a great cast of character and an intricate plot. I'd recommend Touch of Power to fans of fantasy.
This review was originally posted at http://lustforstories.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-touch-of-power-by-maria-v-snyder.html