Published: December 20, 2011Publisher: MiraPages: 390Borrowed from library
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 have to say I was not prepared for this book at all... I thought it would be just another fantasy novel, but I was wrong. It was so much more - magic, wonder, love and adventure.
How do you top the synopsis above? Well, Avry happens to be one of my favourite protagonists of all time. She is resourceful in a pinch, stronger than she realizes, and determined to do what is right. She doesn't have an easy life since the plague destroyed so many people and was blamed on Healer like Avry. She has to hide who she is and her abilities or be killed herself. One problem, she can't stand seeing children hurting or ill and this poses a problem - heal sick children and chance being caught or watch children get sick and die while living safely herself.
Now enter Kerrick and his merry band of misfits - Belen, Flea, Vinn and Quain. They save Avry from her own demise, but are wanting to use her healing powers to save a friend, a powerful friend. Kerrick is a bit arrogant at times, but once he gets to know Avry, his heart begins to change the way he acts and thinks. Their relationship is one of strained friendship at the beginning, but grows to be more slowly throughout the novel.
The multitude of adventures that happen along the way and the foes they encounter will surprise you. The world is incredible, the characters are endearing and magic is, well, magical.
“The heart is a strange beast and not ruled by logic.”
About the author:
Maria lives with her family and a black cat name Valek (a.k.a. the bug assassin!) in Pennsylvania where she is at work on another book and/or a short story (yes this is purposely vague - as you can see, Maria is very busy and updating her website takes time that she just doesn't have. Oh, all right, but if this information is out of date, don't blame Maria :)
Check out my interview with Maria .