The Healing Wars: Book II: Blue Fire

( 15 )

Overview

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barelystaying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke fromusing them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ...

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The Healing Wars: Book II: Blue Fire

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Overview

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barelystaying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke fromusing them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer shegets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.

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Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
A thrilling, complex saga.
Children's Literature - Justina Engebretson
Possessing the power to shift pain from one person to the next is not as wonderful as it may sound, as fifteen-year-old Nya can testify. As a shifter, she has been forced to kill and now the Duke of Baseer has offered a reward for her capture. In her home town, she has successfully been rescuing Takers from the Duke and bringing them to safety, but now that the posters are out for her capture and she is in greater danger. As the danger grows, Nya and her followers decide they must flee their city, so they begin to sell some of their possessions. However, one of the Duke's trackers captures her before they escape. This begins a long journey for Nya that will lead her and those she loves into greater danger. However, in the end, she strikes a severe blow to the Duke's evil plan, though at the expense of not being able to rescue the one she loves most. Hardy's second book in her "Healing Wars" series is definitely a page-turner, even for adults who enjoy fantasy fiction and especially for middle readers. Boys who enjoy fantasy novels may enjoy this book as much as girls, for it is full of action and has only a hint of romance that may even go unnoticed. Middle school teachers might enjoy reading this book with their class, especially if they want to inspire imaginative writing or simply make reading more engaging and tempting for their students. Overall, this novel is an excellent read and since everything is not resolved at the end, readers will most likely be left eagerly anticipating the next book in this series. Reviewer: Justina Engebretson
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Mysterious relationships and unacknowledged royal heirs emerge in Hardy's neo-futuristic sequel to The Shifter (HarperCollins, 2009). Because of her ability to shift pain, 15-year-old Nya is highly valuable to the evil dictator ruling her kingdom. She is even more coveted than the other healers, yet she and her underground revolutionary friends risk their freedom to fight the Duke's wrongful power. While selling goods at the markets, she tries to help a desperate street urchin and gets captured by rogue kidnappers. She is taken to the capital city, where her captors intend to collect the bounty on her head from the Duke. After escaping, Nya is determined to save her imprisoned friends and sister. A series of high-stakes adventures ensues, with the teen using her unique ability to harness pain as her greatest weapon. Nya is a strong and capable heroine who struggles with moral dilemmas throughout this fantasy, yet the story falls flat. More questions are raised than answered, and readers may be confused by the complex rules and unexplained entities. Action sequences and the progression through time are awkward. All in all, this book is disappointing.—Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing where The Shifter (2009) ended, book two of The Healing Warsseries finds 15-year-oldNya, her sister Tali and other Takers hiding in Geveg from the invading Duke of Baseer, who plans to use them in his mysterious pain experiments. Takers heal by transferring human pain into "pynvium," but Nya shifts pain from one person to another, enabling her to use pain as a weapon. While fleeing Geveg, Nya's kidnapped by bounty hunters and transported to Baseer, where she escapes, allies with Baseeri underground fighters and discovers their leader is her uncle, making her half Baseeri. Deperate to find Tali and protect the Takers, Nya orchestrates a hair-raising plot to demolish the Duke's pain experiments. Flashing and pushing pain into her foes, determined and seemingly fearless Nya catapults through the pages like a super-charged action figure, but her first-person narration reveals inner conflict when forced to use her healing powers to injure and kill. Again, Nya confronts impossible moral choices as she fights to find her beloved sister. Relentless, gripping adventure. (Fantasy. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061747410
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Series: Healing Wars Series , #2
  • Pages: 373
  • Sales rank: 1,440,817
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: HL570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy is also the author of The Shifter and Blue Fire, the first two books in the Healing Wars trilogy. She lives in Georgia with her husband, four cats, and one nervous freshwater eel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Joan Stradling for Teens Read Too

    Nya is on the run from the Duke of Baseer's trackers for a crime she didn't intend to commit. The Duke is using Healers to make an unstoppable army, and Nya is determined to stop him. But with trackers after her, it isn't easy to hide, and Nya finds herself trapped in a place she never wanted to be and having to trust people she isn't sure she should. Nya's adventures in BLUE FIRE were even more thrilling than they were in THE SHIFTER. THE HEALING WARS novels are off to a great start. Hardy's characterization is well-balanced with tension and excitement in the plot, which makes it hard to put down. I look forward to the third book in the series and discovering how far Nya will go to save those she loves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    solid sequel

    Blue Fire is the sequel to The Shifter. In it, Nya and her friends are still wanted by the Duke for some nefarious purpose - and when her friends are arrested, Nya has to sneak into enemy territory to try to get them back. This book had essentially all of the same strengths as the first did: Nya's voice is strong and fun, high stakes, and great worldbulding. Seriously - worldbuilding is a huge part of my love of sci fi and fantasy, and Hardy does a great job in Blue Fire of creating a whole new city with its own personality, distinct from that in the first book, while making them feel like part of the same world overall. She also really gets into exploring Nya's healing powers. She lets healing be a power that's as morally dubious as the person who uses it, and goes further into its uses than most authors (for example, creepy soldiers who can heal themselves in the midst of battle by shifting their pain into their armor). That said, I found it hard to keep track of what Nya's skills actually do. She's not a "normal" healer, so her abilities are different and harder to pin down, and she discovers new facets on occasion. I was also pretty lost by the climax. Now, I admit I do tend to skim looking for dialogue and action (terrible habit, I know, but breaking it after so long is not easy!) but I went back and reread when I realized I was lost. and still couldn't quite work it out. I was a little confused by the first book's climax, too, but afterwards it had a handy, "This is what that means," paragraph so I got it. In Blue Fire, I was left going, ".huh?" (That said, I appreciate that at least Hardy doesn't talk down to her readers.) However, the denouncement and the cliffhanger at the end were great. I think the very last section adds a lot of depth to the supporting cast, and I can't wait to see the how everything plays out when the series ends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    An excellent book 2

    Blue Fire will not disappoint! This second book in the Healing Wars series is both captivating and intense. Nya is a hero to root for in every way--loyal, tough and inventive, stopping at nothing to save the Takers who have been captured by the Duke to be used in terrible life-draining experiments. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good fantasy adventure, and who is looking for a different take on magic. I loved this book as much as The Shifter!

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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    Posted September 3, 2010

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