Monday, 9 July 2012

Touch Of Power - Maria V.Snyder

Title - Touch Of Power
Author - Maria V.Snyder
Text Type - Young Adult Fantasy

“So who gave him his name?" I asked.
"Kerrick," Belen answered.
Not who I'd expect. "Why 'Flea'?"
A full-out grin spread across Flea's face. "Cause I'm fast and hard to catch."
"Because he's a pest and hard to squash," Belen said.
"Because he jumps about three feet in the air when you scare him," Loren added.
"Because he's annoying and makes us itch with impatience," Quain said.
"Thanks, guys. I love you too." Flea made exaggerated kissing noises and patted his ass.” 

I never cease to become fascinated by the way authors can create such different, extraordinary surroundings for us to enjoy. They are unique and individual in every way, and I can't deny that I am indeed a sucker for inspiring settings and beautifully crafted worlds. Touch of Power has indeed captivated me in this aspect alone, which I find is a defining point for a story as it is the first thing that we encounter. But the critical nail that Snyder hits right on the head is the way the story maintains this wonderful atmosphere as well as developing the characters to a relatable point. As the story unfolds, we connect to them on an increasing emotional level, an element important to a stellar book but tends to be very rare to find. At this point, I admit I highly expected Snyder to continue to amaze me with her potential to write gripping events with twists and turns. And boy, she delivered. I can confidently say that a couple of hundred pages jam packed with exciting action is what every book lover searches for, no matter what genre they prefer. Then again, there's no reason you wouldn't pick up this book because of that beautiful cover anyway.

It is definitely intriguing to unravel the works of the Fifteen Realms that we are introduced to at the beginning, which was actually quite simple to get the grasp of for me. One thing I know many people feel disheartened by are those complex maps that appear before the story even begins. Frankly, it does have the effect of intimidating the reader because who knows how long it takes to remember all that? I know that last thing I want to do while reading is to flip back and forth between the text and the map, frantically searching for a name in tiny print. So naturally when I saw that map - despite it looking relatively simple - I imagined myself having to pay full attention to the place names and destinations to thoroughly enjoy the book. It did take a couple of chapters but considering the large world that she has envisioned and written, it was well worth the enjoyment later. It perhaps makes life easier in the sense that we are given a boundary whilst visualising the setting, easing the effort we need to imagine the scene when we can use it to explore Snyder's compelling characters.

Every character has a different aura going for them that makes each of them so attractive in their own way: Friendly, flirty, nasty, seductive, arrogant.. The list goes on. Through the eyes of a female, the inspiring characters that present the most thought provoking ideas are the fearless, intelligent and intuitive ones. This book does not lack this courageous protagonist who also has a magnetic kindled spirit, a passion for healing others. When Avry of Kazan is first introduced to the novel as such a compassionate figure, it was hard to imagine someone so delicate could possess such a powerful fire fueled by the need to survive. Her witty, sarcastic personality shines through, allowing her to be complex and humorous. And of course, this engrossing nature is brought out by a male role that, let's be honest, is such an important part to get right when it can either send the audience into squeals or make them slam the book down in frustration. Kerrick of Alga is clearly defined as an extremely profound character, one that has experiences of the past affecting his behavior and demeanor. The connection between Avry and Kerrick completely feeds on the clashing nature of these two equally stubborn, strong-minded characters. But their bold, heated exchanges does the opposite of the expected. It strengthens the alluring spark between them that just makes me want to read more.

Finally, I feel a vital need to acknowledge Snyder for the quality of her writing, a style that is both descriptive and entertaining. She has achieved what I believe to be a very excellent skill where she can fit so many adventure scenes without rushing or overpowering the other elements of the novel. In the midst of all this action, I admire Snyder's subtle ability to weave in shocking revelations throughout the book to increase our understand of the events even further than the last chapter. With the new knowledge that the characters and ultimately the reader discovers, mysteries are solved while new curiosity blooms in place of the old wonders. It is impossible to call this story a boring one. It would no doubt ensnare many readers hearts like mine who take pleasure in experiencing a mixture of action with a generous helping of sweet romance.


  1. Yay!!! Nice review!!!! Loved this book!!! :D

  2. I just received this novel in the post but I haven't read it yet... It sounds good and I will be reading it soon...

    1. Thanks Daniel, hopefully you'll continue to read and enjoy my reviews. As for your blog, followed.