Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: The Healer #1
Release Date: December 11, 2011
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....
After a plague decimates ⅔ the population of the Fifteen Realms very little has returned to normal. Healers are hunted for gold, gangs have popped up everywhere ruling where government and civility has yet to return.
Avry has been on the run for three years, always moving and hiding, never staying in one place too long. One night she heals her neighbour’s young daughter, only to be turned in to the town’s watch for twenty gold. While awaiting execution for healing the child, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues.
This book isn’t overly good or special, but the author knows how to write great dialogue between the characters. I love the relationship between Kerrick’s band of misfits. They have formed a different sort of family of the plague has destroyed most of the population, which took most of their families away. Belen a.k.a. Poppa Bear is kind and loving and truly takes care of the band. Quain and Loren are like brothers who are constantly fighting, but in a fun way. Kerrick the band’s leader is not personable, friendly, or kind. He knows his mission and will do anything to complete it. And, Flea was probably my favourite of them all. Always bouncing around and used to being on his own.
Maria V. Snyder doesn’t end the book in a cliffhanger, wrapped the plot of the first book up nicely, but leaves the rest of the trilogy open for the rest of the story.