{Review} Healer Series (Maria Snyder)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Dual book review of Touch of Power and Scent of Magic

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....
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

If you read YA high fantasy that features a strong female main character, Maria Snyder is simply a must. She consistently delivers high action plots with protagonists who are tough and snarky. Avery is no exception. She's been on the run for three years simply because healers have been blamed for the plague that has wiped out most of the population. But the people seeking to kill her aren't the only ones looking. Kerrick needs a healer to save his friend and the only hope of winning the war to come, and he's perfectly willing to force Avery if he must.

Even if the cost of healing is Avery's life.

The magic is really cool. Avery basically absorbs injuries and sickness into her own body, which heals 10 times faster than a normal person. Her willingness to take on another's pain and scars immediately engages the reader's empathy.

It was a little slow in parts, and at times things felt too convenient -like when they have the bad guy down, ready to kill him, and suddenly they have to run away. Or when the bad guy consistently brings too few troops to stop the heroine. But none of this stopped me from enjoying the books.

There is some minor swearing and sex, but it's "off screen". All in all, I highly recommend you add Snyder's books to your reading list. 


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