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The Healing Wars, Book One: The Shifter by Janice Hardy
Review by Mel Jacob
Balzer + Bray Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061747045
Date: 01 October 2009 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Janice Hardy's debut novel, The Shifter (the Healing Wars Book One), features the adventures of Nya, a teen-age Taker. From a family of Healers, Nya wants to become one as well, however she has a problem. She can shift pain to herself from the injured and heal them, but she can't shift it to pynvium, the metal used by Healers to hold pain. Luckily, her sister Tali, a League of Healers apprentice, can and will pass Nya's pain off as her own from healing.

From official release/information:

From back of book: 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 could 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?

(Source: Balzer + Bray)

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