How Much Pain Could You Take?
review by Maryom
Nya and Tali live in a world where injuries and pain are 'healed' by specially trained Takers who take the hurt firstly into themselves and then dump it into stones made of the special element, pynvium. Tali's abilities gain her a place as an apprentice with the Healers' League, but Nya's talent is stranger and best kept hidden. There are increasing rumours, though, that something strange is happening at the League, that apprentices are going missing and then a shipwreck with innumerable casualties brings chaos but a chance for Nya to profit from her strange gift.
Telling the story through Nya's point of view, Janice Hardy has pulled off the trick of creating a totally believable alternative world. Nya is now reduced to living off scraps on the streets of war-battered Geveg but can still remember the better times, before the Duke's army invaded, when she and her family lived in comfort and her Grannyma was a respected Healer in the League. Even the little she has is at risk as Nya's talent becomes known and others seek to manipulate her for their own ends - she discovers that some people will do almost anything to help ease the pain of their loved ones, but that there's also others who want to profit from this.
We first join Nya as she is trying to escape from an outraged farmer and the pace and momentum of the plot are kept up throughout. The reader is alongside as strangers stalk her, as she bluffs her way into the League's headquarters and escapes over the roof tops!
An enthralling new fantasy adventure series for young teens - one I hope to read more of.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - HarperCollins
Genre - fantasy, adventure 11+
Buy The Healing Wars (1) - The Pain Merchants: Book One from Amazon