My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...
"I could heal their friend of the plague, but then I couldn't heal myself."
Oh wow. The last dystopian novel I've read that has its own world was also written by Snyder and I have to say that she's marvelous. It felt like I entered a different world and was with the characters in their adventure. I love how it was written. I wasn't overloaded or overwhelmed with information in one sitting. Instead it felt like I was picking each piece as the story goes along.
The characters were amazing. Avry's compassion as a healer was heartwarming. As she describe how she felt every time she healed the others, I felt proud of her as if I was Tara, her mentor. But despite her undying compassion, she was also strong-willed and really smart. I also love reading Belen, Flea, Loren and Quain. Even Kerrick can be sweet and thoughtful underneath his standoffish attitude. Each of them were really connected with one another, even I felt their loyalty. I wish there were more description about what they looked like though. Snyder mentioned a bit of their physical features but it wasn't enough to form a concrete image of them in my mind.
I have never read anything like this before. It felt like I was in an LOTR-kind of world with the Realms and mountain and forests. It was unique compared to others, even with their names! I love how Snyder really put an effort with their names.
I only wished a few things were elaborated and given more reason that what it presented. Just like Tohon's evil plans--they felt like they're just present because no one would fill in the part of an evil king. Although he did a good job, especially with his creepy army. But it felt like his reasons weren't enough for me. He was greedy, okay, but I kinda need more.
I also wished Ryne's involvement in the last few parts of the story gave more explanations, since he and Avry spent some time together but there wasn't much. Most information I expected to come from him was even supplied by Kerrick. I still have hopes for him though. I really want to know more about him and his background in the second book.
"I feared I had lost you without even telling you how I felt."
Thank god the romance part of the story wasn't presented immediately. I love how it didn't clouded the characters' decisions except for the last few parts after the confession.
I'm quite excited to read the rest of the story.