The Shifter by Janice Hardy

#4 of 200

Original Language: English
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Country: England
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
ISBN: 0061747041
Page Count: 384
Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people. Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

Janice Hardy’s The Shifter is the first of a thrilling new young adult trilogy. Geveg is on the verge of another devastating war and Nya feels powerless to defend herself and her younger sister Tila.

Nya is a Taker, like her sister, but unlike most Takers Nya can’t take pain to heal others, she can only shift it into someone else. When this becomes common knowledge Nya is sought out by those in desperate need, and others in dangerously powerful positions.

The Shifter is an intriguing tale about love, family and choices. Nya is forced to make impossible choices in order to save her sister, her friends and ultimately Geveg. With the help of Tila, her friend Aylin, the night guard Danello and the fast healing taker Soek, it is up to Nya to take on the League and ultimately, the Duke.

A fantastic new series for young adults that delves into the ethics of taking pain versus causing pain. Hardy has a wonderful voice and an endearing protagonist in Nya.
Blue Fire, the second book in the Healing Wars trilogy, is now available!

Raiding Bookshelves Rating

Judging by the cover: I love illustrated covers and the Shifter is no different. Nya has a strange healing power, one easily explained through the title. The image of the two hands looks great and captures the sense of cooperation necessary for Nya to succeed as well as acting as a representation of her unique powers.
Originally published: 7 January 2011 (Raiding Bookshelves)

Blue Fire review

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