The Shifter

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh wow.

I picked up The Shifter by Janice Hardy last week, but between retail holiday hours at work (long and late) and studying mystery techniques/medieval forensics (ok, ok, binge-watching some of the Brother Cadfael episodes I'd borrowed several times each, having finally "discovered" how good they are, more on this in a later post), I finally got around to reading the book today. Again, I say, "Wow!"

What an amazing story. I couldn't put it down. The premise hooked me in; the story whooshed me through the pages. Imagine me with a "come hither" eyebrow wiggle and a wicked grin.

Nya is a Taker, a person who can heal by taking a person's pain. However, she's flawed. Unlike her sister, Tali, and others who become Healer's League apprentices, she cannot push that pain into pynvium, a special metal that stores it. Instead, she can shift that pain into other people. In the war-torn, occupied island of Geveg, this is a dangerous ability that could be used against her own people. But Nya is faced with ethical quandaries when her sister and other apprentices go missing. What lengths will she go to save them all and what will it cost her?

This is book one of The Healing Wars, and I am eagerly looking forward to book two. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a different sort of healing magic and tough ethical choices, good for ages 10 and up. After hearing about this book on The Other Side of the Story, Janice Hardy's blog, I was excited to find this at the bookstore where I work. (Gotta love employee discounts. Makes my book habit more affordable.) It was well worth it. Check out her blog for more details and helpful, interesting articles on writing, querying, and publishing from a writer's point of view. And pick up her book!