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..
I think that it must be biologically imprinted in me to enjoy Snyder's books, because time after time she fails to disappoint me. Snyder's Study series is one of my favorite series ever, the Glass trilogy didn't disappoint, the YA sci-fi dystopian Insiders was pretty awesome and now the Healer series is starting out pretty darned amazing.
This book does what the Study series did for me a couple of years ago, it took YA and adult fantasy concepts and tied them together, so the book seems more 'mature' (not in that way) than other fantasy book. This is an adventure story, high fantasy with a good setting and great characters.
The world building fell a little short for me, we were thrown into this world which seems pretty medieval, then there are some aspects such as the syringes, and the virus and the political side of things (I think a president is mentioned somewhere) which make it seem modern and I'd have got a better grasp on the worl if there has been more world buidling. Then again, it is only the first in the series so that development could come further into the series.
The romance is what I have always enjoyed in Snyder's books, amongst soulmates and insta-love that are rife in the YA market these days, the romance Snyder's books are real, with issues and development, there may seem to be a lack of romance, but that's just because it's there, it's just very subtle. Kerrick was so likeable, not because he's an all around good guy (believe me, he is not) but because he's rugged and manly and made me melt into a pile of goo. Avry was a main character that I supported and enjoyed reading about her journey, she was flawed at times, but in the end she is a good person, along the journey she develops from a strong girl on the run, to a stronger but more sociable and open person who feels welcome somewhere.
Overall, it was amazing. It was fantasy at it's best, ith subtle romance to make you smile, action to have you gripping on the edge of your seat and a story that is so enjoyable and gripping.
Overall Rating: A
Released December 20th 2011 by Mira.
Book received as an e-proof from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Other books by this author:
Scent of Magic (Healer #2)
Inside Out (Insiders #1)