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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.