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Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
The Prison Healer was a surprise hit for me, and I’m now super excited to read the sequel! I kind of picked this up on a whim, although I had heard a few whisperings of this being a fun YA fantasy book.
It’s certainly not the most unique YA fantasy. The setting has been done before, as has the plot and the trials, and the pacing was your usual for such a book. That said, I had so much fun with this one!
I really liked the main character, whose whitty personality and determination really stuck out to me. I liked that this book had the slightest amount of mystery going on in the background that kept you wondering… but also made you forget about it to focus on the action packed plot from time to time.
I flew through this one, and the ending really punched me in the face. I didn’t see that coming at all, even though I had seen hints of it. And it made so much sense? I love it when that happens. I feel like this is one of those books that you need to reread to pick up on all the subtleties.
Like I said, I’m excited for the sequel to come out this autumn!