Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs 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 Fifteen Realms, 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 have been told by many other bloggers that I need to read a Maria V Snyder book. I have the first magic book on my tbr but have yet to get to it. So, when I had the opportunity to read this book, I jumped at it. Plus, I have to admit, I do like that cover.
I have to say I did get involved in this book. I found this world very interesting. A world in which Avry has to live as a fugitive for healing because of fear. She is "rescued" by a band of men who want her to heal a prince she personally hates. To heal him will cause her death, so she refuses. The leader of the men is angry and desperate and causes Avry harm when he swore he wouldn't. Therefore I really hated the guy. I was also angry that he would become her love interest. Ah, but before you take my head off because I spoiled so much... trust me, none of that is secret and you know it all from the beginning of the book as soon as they meet.
Yes, I hated Kerrick. Spoiler altert (highlight to see) He hits her in a fit of anger. He also chains her up and tortures her to gain her compliance. The first is pretty unforgivable IMHO, the second COULD be seen later as a desperate attempt if shown in the right light. Honestly, I don't think he fully grasped why that was wrong and so it still upsets me. (end spoiler) I also did not like his zealotry for this prince. It never fully made sense to me no matter how many stories were told. I get how he became loyal, but a zealot? Not so much. However, I will submit, I did soften a bit to him in the end when I felt he was sincere with Avry about who he was and trusted her fully. Still~ *sigh*
Avry was a entirely different matter. I really loved her character with the exception of her flaw above (hah! You thought I already forgot! LOL). She was snarky and refused to follow orders. She lived her life as a choice and not as a victim. I really loved that about her. She chose who to heal and who not to heal. It was HER body on the line and her pain. She refused anyone who tried to tell her different. She was strong, intelligent, and willing to learn. She also made several hard choices and discovered things that I am now curious about. Yes, she is the main reason I want the next book in the series.
So, what do I give this book? To be honest, this is a hard question. So, it came down to this for me. Did I enjoy it? Yes. It also gave me a bit of an emotional ride (including anger). I want to read the next one and I'm willing to forgive Kerrick (although I preferred Belen ~ no not a triangle, but I loved the big guy!) because she has already. I mean this isn't real life, so therefore, he won't have that problem again. *sigh* Oh yea... the rating. So, I give it 4 stars. Mostly because of Avry.
I was given this book from NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.