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Blue Fire (The Healing Wars, Book 2) Paperback – 31 Mar 2011
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/ A major new voice in the children's fantasy genre arrives in this page turning adventure, the first in an exciting new series / Perfect for fans of Joseph Delaney's Spooks Apprentice series / Innovative online consumer campaign to appeal to fantasy and adventure fans to include viral game, downloads and competitions across kids websites / Review and feature coverage guaranteed in national press and children's media
About the Author
A longtime fantasy reader, Janice Hardy has always wondered about the darker side of healing. She tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing could be dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. She lives in Georgia with her husband, four cats, and one nervous freshwater eel.
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Top customer reviews
It runs for two hundred and eighty three pages and is divided into twenty eight chapters.
It follows right on from the end of volume one, The Healing Wars (1) - The Pain Merchants: Book One, and there's no exposition at all to bring new readers up to speed, so don't start here if you haven't read volume one. Go and read that.
If you have read it, then read on.
Nya and her friends are surviving on the streets of the city and have a plan. To rescue as many pain takers as they can from the Duke. Find out what he wants with them. And put a stop to his plans. Step one they've done but steps two and three are harder. Particularly when she is on wanted posters all over the city.
Discovery forces them to flee. But then they are separated. As potential new allies and dangerous enemies come into play, all of whom have their own agendas, Nya has more hard choices to make. And the full extent of the Duke's plans start to become known...
As ever with second volumes in trilogies this has to reveal more of the overall plot, and move things along nicely and get it all to the point where the reader is left on a cliffhanger eagerly awaiting volume two.
This book does all that's required of it.
If you loved volume one then this will not let you down. Still told in the first person Nya is a strong and appealing heroine, and there's great depth to the supporting characters also. Particularly her best friend Aylin, who has beauty and street smarts in equal measure.
The choices Nya has to make force the reader to think about the moral dilemmas she faces, and that leaves you with some interesting food for thought. And the whole thing is very believable. There are no invincible characters here, just believable people doing their best.
Another strong entry in an excellent series. The third volume The Healing Wars: Book III: Darkfall will be out in due course. I'm looking forward to it.
Nya is still being hunted after the events of book 1, but she isn't taking it lying down, running an undercover operation to rescue apprentices from the Duke and his evil experiments with magic, she is working from the shadows.
Danello has a bigger part in this book and I was glad for it, he is a solid presence in Nya's life, strong, confident, and funny in places. He is the perfect balance to her fiery temper.
Aylin also features more and she is a breath of fresh air. I love her calming presence and sense of organisation. Tali once again is in trouble and Nya is determined to look after her, I keep hoping for Tali to break out of her shell and take responsibility for herself, stand up for herself. It hasn't happened yet, but I hope it will in the third book.
There are a lot of new characters in this book and they offer a good range, I love the little street boy with his cheeky, sarcastic humour. Vyand one of the 'bad guys' is a great villain, she is one of those who appears weak but will pop up when you least expect it and take the enemy down.
The plot moves fast and had me hooked. I couldn't put the book down. It has a good mix of adventure, mystery and magic. There wasn't a minute that I was bored, my attention was hooked all the way through and it had a lot of twists and turns that I hadn't expected.
I am really looking forward to book 3 which comes out in April, I want to see if Nya and Danello succeed.
A great, quick read that will have you hooked.
The second in Janice Hardy’s tween-marketed PAIN MERCHANTS TRILOGY broadens out the world building and the scale of Nya’s struggle but the large cast of characters made it difficult to keep track of who’s who and results in none ever really standing out. Having read the first book in 2009, I also found it difficult to remember what had happened before because Hardy only gives a brief recap of previous events. There are some great ideas here – I still like the way healing can be used and exploited and I liked the fact that the opposition are not homogenous and has its own divisions. Unfortunately the book simply isn’t long enough to allow for life to be breathed into the characters or for the scope to be fully expanded. I was also disappointed in the Duke (who’s two-dimensional at best), the traditional fantasy focus on a legitimate heir rather than examining democracy left me disappointed and the ending is rushed and failed to satisfy me. There’s still enough here for me to want to check out the finale but this sequel simply didn’t live up to the promise of the first book for me.
What does work are Nya’s reactions to the things that she’s done and the things she knows she’s going to have to do. I wished that there’d been more of her relationship with Tali given that Tali remains essentially a plot point more than a character, but there are promising hints of information on Nya’s parents and their connection to the Duke, which I hope will be expanded upon in the conclusion.
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