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The Healing Wars: Book Iii: Darkfall Hardcover – Sep 14 2011

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Praise for BLUE FIRE: Nya confronts impossible moral choices as she fights. Relentless, gripping adventure. (Kirkus Reviews)

Praise for BLUE FIRE: A thrilling, complex saga. (The Horn Book)

Praise for THE SHIFTER: Fantasy fans and those who just love a good story will enjoy this fast-paced novel and eagerly await book two. (School Library Journal)

Praise for THE SHIFTER: The headstrong Nya and the innovative premise...keep readers turning the pages. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Praise for THE SHIFTER: Timely ethical exploration in the guise of high-action fantasy. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Janice Hardy is also the author ofThe ShifterandBlue Fire, the first two books in the Healing Wars trilogy. She lives in Georgia with her husband, four cats, and one nervous freshwater eel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VERY good series conclusion Oct. 4 2011
By Rebecca Allen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I won't lie: I was a little bit wary going into this. I don't know if it's just my bad luck as a reader, or if there's a problem endemic to YA, but at least four trilogies I've read in recent years have ended with fizzles rather than bangs, even when the first two and a half books have been great. So I am pleased to report: it does not fizzle! After spending two and a half books building up how evil the Duke is, building to a war, and building up Nya's character, the conclusion shines where other books... uh, didn't so much.

It probably isn't fair to do a one-to-one comparison, but without naming any names (ahem) there was a trilogy that concluded last year where an impoverished teenage girl's main goal was to save her little sister, and as she tried to accomplish that she became the symbol of a rebellion against an oppressive government. I bring this up because some of the pitfalls of that particular book are also elements in play in Darkfall, but here they turn out solidly. The stakes of the war are equally deadly here -- terrible things happen, battles are lost, and people die. Some of it is even Nya's fault. But even when bad things are happening, Nya never checks out; and even when she's being used as a figurehead, she never loses her agency. She's the one who decides to play along with questionable leaders, even when things don't feel right, and then she has to deal with the consequences.

In my review of Blue Fire (the middle book in the series), I mentioned that I had a hard time tracking what happened at the climaxes in the first two books. That was actually not the case in this one -- there was a heck of a lot of action happening near the end, but I never lost track of what was going on with Nya's powers and the Duke's weapons.

Aside from improving on what I found to be the previous book's main weakness, the conclusion maintained all of its strengths: the worldbuilding is great, Nya's voice is strong and she's fun to read about, and the story is compelling. The only tiny quibble I had was that I don't think we got to know one of the characters who died very well beforehand, so it didn't have quite the impact it should have. That's an extremely minor complaint, though. The book is a solid five cupcakes, leaving the series as a whole at four and a half.

phenomenal April 25 2015
By morgana la fey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was a phenomenal way to finish an epic trilogy. Nya is positively amazing in this last chapter of her story. So many choices to make, so many lines to cross. This book really defines the beauty of flawed humanity. Nya is constantly having to choose if the end justify the means, if eventing isn't as black and white as everyone makes it seem. There were so many plot twists, I'm pretty sure I got whiplash reading one after another. This book was truly the best of them all. The stakes are higher in this book, the magic and adventure are more intense, the characters and plot are grittier and the actual writing has surpassed anything Hardy has written. My hat is off to you Janice Hardy.
A rousing, epic conclusion to The Healing Wars trilogy Oct. 4 2011
By Dario - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Janice Hardy knocks it right out of the ballpark in this stirring final volume of the Healing Wars. Nya, our young heroine, must once again parse impossible moral dilemmas and manage difficult personalities among her growing supporters while pressed hard by the Duke's forces. If you plan to sleep, don't start this story at bedtime; yes, there are breathers between the breathtaking plot twists and desperate battle sequences, but the emotional and ethical reflection and dynamic that fills those moments of external quiet insure that the story remains taut as a bowstring all the way through to the shattering, pyrotechnic finale. Fantastic!
Third book and end to the series May 24 2014
By bacoots - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave it four stars because I would consider e-reading it. The series over all is clean and well written suitable for ages 10 and up. I enjoyed the strong female protagonist, the tightness of the prose and the effective movement of plot. I struggle with sequels but this read beautifully and ended well. THank you Janice Hardy.
awesome book! Feb. 4 2014
By c.Marriott - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! But you really need to read the other 2 first. It is one of the best books I've ever read.