The Prison Healer

This tense fantasy series opener set in a death prison is a dark story of survival, rebellion and purpose.

Seventeen-year-old Kiva and her healer father arrived at Zalindov, a prison "full of murderers and rebels," 10 years ago. When her father died, she took on his job as the prison healer. Now, the Rebel Queen has arrived at Zalindov and Kiva is commanded to keep the deathly ill woman alive long enough to fulfill her punishment: the insurmountable "Trial by Ordeal," reserved for the most dangerous criminals. In order to succeed, the Rebel Queen must complete four elemental tasks (Ordeals) that are "inspired by magic of old." Slipped in with the queen's clothes, Kiva finds a coded message from her free family members: "Don't let her die. We are coming." When the queen fails to improve in time for her trial, Kiva volunteers in her place--she hopes to buy her family time and survive the impossible tasks, winning both her and the queen their freedom.

In The Prison Healer, Lynette Noni (Whisper) doesn't shy away from the brutality of prison life at Zalindov, showing all its grim and gruesome parts. Whether it's inmates bullying each other, debilitating labor or guards sexually and physically abusing prisoners, her characters suffer greatly. However, Noni aptly softens this harsh reality with budding romance, sweet friendships and soothing memories. Through Kiva's perspective, readers are privy to her deceased father's voice in flashbacks, which helps provide background and is also a much-needed source of comfort and hope. The action comes in waves until the end when Noni slams readers with plot twists, reveals and a jaw-dropping final cliff-hanger. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader

Powered by: Xtenit