Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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...
This book is wow-worthy. The main character, Avry, is clever, brave, and witty. She is the readers' guide through a world where healers are loathed and killed on sight. A healer herself, Avry will impress the reader with her depth of compassion and ability to put aside her own personal emotions-even if it means her life. This world created by Snyder is a harsh one; a plague has swept through the land, killing every single person it infects. Healers are powerless against this plague, dying in exchange for the plague-stricken person. Healers are reviled because the average person in this novel suspects healers of deliberately starting the plague.
The reader is taken right into the action of the story; the author provides background knowledge along the way. Avry is captured by people who intend to trade her in as a healer for a reward. Expecting death, Avry is instead captured by a group which has a specific purpose in mind for her. They demand Avry heal a plague victim-a prince. Avry knows better, she realizes that to do so would mean her life. What will Avry decide?
As a character, Avry was wonderful. She wasn't too perfect, but she was very endearing and completely likable. Kerrick, the love interest, will likely rub the reader the wrong way-he rubs Avry the wrong way much of the book as well. Stubborn, cruel at times, and unyielding, Kerrick is not a character the reader will take an instant liking to. The other characters of the motley band are interesting, they each have very different traits that the reader will find memorable.
The events are extremely fast-paced. The characters do develop along the way, they are very dynamic and thus more interesting and fun to the reader. Readers can be extremely happy when they put this book down-there is another book in the series to look forward to! This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
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Maria V. Snyder switched careers from meteorologist to novelist when she began writing the New York Times best-selling Study Series (POISON STUDY, MAGIC STUDY and FIRE STUDY) about a young woman who becomes a poison taster. When she’s not traveling, Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and daughter.
MARIA’S FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mvsfans
MARIA'S WEBSITE: http://mariavsnyder.com/
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