The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni is pretty far out of my comfort zone, however I was willing to give it a try because Noni’s Whisper series was so enjoyable. I am glad I decided to pick this one up, as its fast pacing and high stakes gripped me from page one. The main character is also dynamic, and the setting is described in vivid detail. For those looking for a darker fantasy, this is definitely one to check out.Title: The Prison Healer
Series: The Prison Healer #1
Author: Lynette Noni
Also by this author: Whisper (Whisper #1)
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
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.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Having spent ten years in a death prison working as a healer, Kiva has managed to survive, running on the hope that she will someday be rescued. But, when the Rebel Queen arrives at Zalindov, clinging to life, Kiva volunteers to take her place and assume her punishment: undergoing four elemental trials. Should she succeed, they will both be granted freedom, however, no one has survived all four trials. This is a fast-paced and tense novel with wild twists you’ll never see coming.
❀ Charming Cast of Side Characters
I loved Kiva’s character–there is so much depth to her. As a healer, it is natural that the is caring. She helps everyone in the prison, no matter how they have treated her in the past, and she has developed incredible mental strength. At the same time, Kiva is reserved in order to protect herself, and I enjoyed watching her slowly learn to open up to people. There is also a charming cast of side characters alongside Kiva. I especially enjoyed her relationship with Tipp, a young boy in the prison, along with the quietly compassionate guard and the mysterious new inmate.
❀ Compelling Setting
One of the book’s highlights is its compelling setting. Noni captures the atmosphere of the prison extremely well, and many interesting details are woven throughout the story. The norms of the prison are also well established, making it believable. Since Kiva has been in the prison for 10 years, we don’t know much about the outside world, but these details are supplied at just the right moments, and in the right quantity to build suspense.
❀ Survival and Friendship
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni is a darkly compelling story about survival and friendship, even in the harshest of environments. I was rooting for the main character, and the book’s setting is vividly described. I absolutely can’t wait until I can get my hands on book two!