The Healing Wars: Blue Fire (Book 2) by Janice Hardy

Whereas the Warrior Heir might not fall into my top ten list, the Healing Wars just might. Shifter, the first book in the series, was one of the first children’s books I read last year and I liked it immediately. I’ve always been a sucker for the scrappy, raised from humble beginnings type story (loved the Hunger Games!) so this one had a lot going for it right from the start and it did not disappoint.

In book 2, Nya is on the run after blowing up the healer’s quarters where healers were being abused and experimented on. She, along with her sister and some friends, have taken to helping their fellow healers escape capture. There are bigger things to worry about though, as Nya’s unique abilities make her particularly valuable for a much bigger plot that she doesn’t understand.

There is a lot of solid writing in this book. The description is right on and the characters are easy to relate to. Hardy does an excellent job of creating a fully realized world, where she deals with the complexities of greed, power, and hatred.

The best of the book comes out in the relationship between Tali and Nya. Much like Katniss and Prim in the Hunger Games trilogy, their relationship is what drives much of the book. It is what usually spurs Nya to action, the need to protect her sister. What I like about Tali versus Prim, is that we get to see Tali grow into her own. Yes, Prim isn’t a complete pushover by the end of the series, but she never quite gets to step out of her sister’s shadow. Tali, on the other hand is as much hero as victim. While Nya may see her sister and someone who needs to be protected, Tali is not satisfied in this role and others see that about her as well.

Best of all, by the end of the book, it feels like we have only just begun. There are clearly more mysteries and horrors to be revealed. Though I know it won’t be for a while, I can’t wait for the next book to come out.


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