Discover A Series: The Healing Wars [Guest Post]

By: Guest Post Photo By: @dropandgivemenerdy

We’re so happy to open up 'Discover A Series' to our incredible OwlCrate Jr reps! Today, we have Alexis of Drop and Give Me Nerdy recommending a middle grade book series close to her heart.

Be sure to give her a follow, and don’t forget to check out her small, family-run businesses Nerdy Ink and Nerdy Tees for gorgeous (and nerdy!) exclusive items, dust jackets, and shirts.

Any time that I’m asked about an underrated middle grade book or series, my first thought is always of The Healing Wars by Janice Hardy. Even after all these years (book one came out in 2009), the premise still holds up as something really unique and exciting, and the plot for the overall series is really satisfying.

Let’s start with the coolest part: these aren’t your normal wars. They’re healing wars. How weirdly awesome does that sound?! But also, how could that work? Well, let me introduce you to book one: The Shifter

Book cover for The Shifter by Janice Hardy. Two hands come from either side of the image, each held to the other. Magical lines the drift between the two outstretched hands. Below the hands is a massive stylized palace.

A pair of orphaned sisters, Nya and Tali (I love a good sister story), are scraping by in a city struggling between wars. In their world, there are people with the ability to heal others by taking their pain into themselves and then pushing it into an enchanted metal called pynvium. Both Nya and Tali have this ability, but Nya’s has a flaw: she can’t use the pynvium. Instead, Nya can only shift the pain into another person (The Shifter! Get it?!).

While Tali joins the Healer’s League as an apprentice Taker, Nya has to keep her Shifter power a secret or she’ll be used as a weapon against her own people. But as Nya grows more desperate for food and work, she takes bigger chances and accidentally exposes her secret to a pain merchant. The pain merchant wants to use her talents for nefarious purposes, but Nya refuses. That is, until her sister and the other healers start to disappear. Nya must get her sister back, but at what cost? (As the protector sister myself, I say there’s no cost too high!)

Talking about these next two will come with slight spoilers! So, reader beware.

The events of The Shifter has put Nya in a bit of a tricky position at the start of Blue Fire where she is a wanted fugitive for an accidental crime. But she is determined to protect every Taker she can find and keep them safe from being experimented on by the Duke. Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them safe is to flee, but she gets trapped in the one place she shouldn’t be and is forced to trust people she never expected to trust. The closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s evil plan, the more she learns of her instrumental part in it. (Such inner conflict!)

By the time we reach Darkfall, Nya is separated from Tali once again, having instigated a rebellion that caused her to flee with the Underground to a safer location. Nya vows to find her sister again (I would, too), but the rebellion is already underway and she’s not sure it’s even possible. The Duke is on the rampage and Nya will soon have to decide if she will continue to be a pawn in the rebellion, or become more than just a symbol. Will Nya become the hero her people need? You’ll have to read it to find out!

                                            Book cover for Blue Fire by Janice Hardy. Two hands hold a blue stone that emits blue fire that splits in two and billows upwards. Background goes from red at the bottom up to black.            Book cover for Darkfall by Janice Hardy. A hand slowly drops silvery dust onto a cityscape on fire. Background goes from black to blue to yellow.

In conclusion, these books are fantastic, and Janice Hardy is the author whose work most helped me get a hang of plot when I was writing my first novel. I love these books to pieces forever and ever. I hope you’ll give them a shot!

Thanks so much Alexis for sharing this incredible series with us!
Is there a book series you wish had gotten more attention? Let us know in the comments below. 

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