The Healing Wars: Book I: The Shifter

The Healing Wars: Book I: The Shifter

3.83 (5,999 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Fifteen-year-old Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker--with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body.

But unlike her sister Tali and the other Takers who become Healer's League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: she can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it from person to person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purpose. At first, Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices.

As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price, but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 134 x 194 x 23mm | 263g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0061747084
  • 9780061747083
  • 268,492

Back cover copy

A dangerous secret. A deadly skill.

Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker--with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers, Nya's skill is flawed: she can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden. If discovered, she could be used as a human weapon.

But one day Nya pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. She refuses--until Tali and other League Healers start disappearing mysteriously. Now Nya must decide: How far will she go to get Tali back alive?
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Review quote

In the tradition of strong-willed adventure heroines, Nya rallies, unleashing her powers as she faces complex moral dilemmas. Her first-person narration is suffused with the agony of deciding who will live or die. Timely ethical exploration in the guise of high-action fantasy. -- Kirkus Reviews

Nya's distinctive first-person voice, strongly personable with a wry sense of humor, draws readers in...[the] hard-charging plot makes the pages fly by...Would you save someone's life at the cost of unbearable pain to someone else?[Readers] will eagerly await the next volume of the Healing Wars. -- The Horn Book

The headstrong Nya and the innovative premise...keep readers turning the pages. -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Fantasy fans and those who just love a good story will enjoy this fast-paced novel and eagerly await book two. -- School Library Journal
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Rating details

5,999 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 28% (1,699)
4 37% (2,212)
3 26% (1,589)
2 6% (377)
1 2% (122)

Our customer reviews

Nya and her sister have been orphaned. Though her sister has been taken in as an apprentice with the Healer's League, Nya is on her own. She has the power to take pain, but Nya isn't a Healer - she's a Taker. Instead of shifting pain into the enchanted metal known as pynvium, she can only push it into another person. This dangerous skill makes her valuable to the enemy, and she finds herself forced into working for a pain merchant. When her sister and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, Naya must make some difficult choices and decide how far she'll go to save her sister. THE SHIFTER is a brilliant beginning to THE HEALING WARS novels. Hardy has an elegant way of drawing the reader into the story with her characterization, and keeping them in the story with plot twists and the dark, war-torn setting for heightened tension. I loved reading about the darker side of healing as Nya's story unfolded, and I look forward to continuing to follow these characters in book two of the series, BLUE FIRE.show more
by TeensReadToo
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