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Blue Fire: The Healing Wars, 1st Edition, Book 2 Hardcover – October 5, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Healing Wars Series

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Heroes of Black History
Collection of Five "Who Was" Biographies
In this box set, discover the life and times of five icons of black history and celebrate the difference they made in the world. Hardcover
$16.76 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8–Mysterious relationships and unacknowledged royal heirs emerge in Hardy's neo-futuristic sequel to The Shifter (HarperCollins, 2009). Because of her ability to shift pain, 15-year-old Nya is highly valuable to the evil dictator ruling her kingdom. She is even more coveted than the other healers, yet she and her underground revolutionary friends risk their freedom to fight the Duke's wrongful power. While selling goods at the markets, she tries to help a desperate street urchin and gets captured by rogue kidnappers. She is taken to the capital city, where her captors intend to collect the bounty on her head from the Duke. After escaping, Nya is determined to save her imprisoned friends and sister. A series of high-stakes adventures ensues, with the teen using her unique ability to harness pain as her greatest weapon. Nya is a strong and capable heroine who struggles with moral dilemmas throughout this fantasy, yet the story falls flat. More questions are raised than answered, and readers may be confused by the complex rules and unexplained entities. Action sequences and the progression through time are awkward. All in all, this book is disappointing.Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJ
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Nya confronts impossible moral choices as she fights. Relentless, gripping adventure (Kirkus Reviews)

A thrilling, complex saga. (The Horn Book)

“Fantasy fans and those who just love a good story will enjoy this fast-paced novel and eagerly await book two.” (School Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: HL570L (What's this?)
  • Series: Healing Wars (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061747416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061747410
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, BLUE FIRE, and the upcoming DARKFALL. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at www.janicehardy.com or chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By RPK on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a HUGE fan of Hardy's The Shifter I was extremely anxious to delve into the continuation to Nya's story. Nya is one of those rare characters that comes along that a reader can't help but root for. She is feisty, determined and undeniably brave. I loved every second of this action-packed fantasy thrill ride. Readers will certainly need to purchase The Shifter beforehand as this is NOT a stand-alone novel. This seems to pick up almost immediately where we left off in the first book with our main characters trying to elude the soldiers and to steer clear of The Duke and his corrupt & maniacal ways. Nya is a rebel & a Hero jammed into one phenomenally well-rounded young girl. I can't wait to continue reading and learning more about her in the next installment! Janice Hardy has completely captivated me with this series. It would fill any fan of The Hunger Games need for YA adventure!!
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Format: Hardcover
Whereas the Warrior Heir might not fall into my top ten list, the Healing Wars just might. Shifter, the first book in the series, was one of the first children's books I read last year and I liked it immediately. I've always been a sucker for the scrappy, raised from humble beginnings type story (loved the Hunger Games!) so this one had a lot going for it right from the start and it did not disappoint.

In book 2, Nya is on the run after blowing up the healer's quarters where healers were being abused and experimented on. She, along with her sister and some friends, have taken to helping their fellow healers escape capture. There are bigger things to worry about though, as Nya's unique abilities make her particularly valuable for a much bigger plot that she doesn't understand.

There is a lot of solid writing in this book. The description is right on and the characters are easy to relate to. Hardy does an excellent job of creating a fully realized world, where she deals with the complexities of greed, power, and hatred.

The best of the book comes out in the relationship between Tali and Nya. Much like Katniss and Prim in the Hunger Games trilogy, their relationship is what drives much of the book. It is what usually spurs Nya to action, the need to protect her sister. What I like about Tali versus Prim, is that we get to see Tali grow into her own. Yes, Prim isn't a complete pushover by the end of the series, but she never quite gets to step out of her sister's shadow. Tali, on the other hand is as much hero as victim. While Nya may see her sister and someone who needs to be protected, Tali is not satisfied in this role and others see that about her as well.

Best of all, by the end of the book, it feels like we have only just begun. There are clearly more mysteries and horrors to be revealed. Though I know it won't be for a while, I can't wait for the next book to come out.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I highly recommend that you read The Shifter (The Healing Wars: Book I) before you read this book.

I found both books to be very enjoyable to read. The heroine of this story, 15 year old Nya, along with her sister Tali, has been orphaned by a war that was started by a very evil and greedy Duke.

Nya has a very special talent (she can shift pain from one person to another) which her parents told her to never reveal. However, circumstances beyond her control force her to shift, and this was witnessed by bystanders. This unfortunately brings her to the attention of the Duke, who wants to have her captured so that he can use her as a potentially lethal weapon.

In book two, Nya has been captured and brought to the the capital, Braseer, where she learns that the Duke is not very popular there with many of the residents, and that many of them have formed an underground to resist the Duke.

Nya learns, as she is forced to use her special abilities, that there is often a very high price to pay; one that, although she is not willing to pay it, none the less, she often has to make the best of a bad situation.

I truly enjoyed following Nya as she struggles to survive while resisting the temptation to give into her anger, for fear that she might end up becoming as self serving as the Duke. There is a grimness and despair to these stories that I found very compelling, and I am looking forward to the third book in this series!

Reviewed by Debbie.
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Format: Hardcover
Blue Fire is the sequel to The Shifter. In it, Nya and her friends are still wanted by the Duke for some nefarious purpose -- and when her friends are arrested, Nya has to sneak into enemy territory to try to get them back.

This book had essentially all of the same strengths as the first did: Nya's voice is strong and fun, high stakes, and great worldbulding. Seriously -- worldbuilding is a huge part of my love of sci fi and fantasy, and Hardy does a great job in Blue Fire of creating a whole new city with its own personality, distinct from that in the first book, while making them feel like part of the same world overall. She also really gets into exploring Nya's healing powers. She lets healing be a power that's as morally dubious as the person who uses it, and goes further into its uses than most authors (for example, creepy soldiers who can heal themselves in the midst of battle by shifting their pain into their armor).

That said, I found it hard to keep track of what Nya's skills actually do. She's not a "normal" healer, so her abilities are different and harder to pin down, and she discovers new facets on occasion. I was also pretty lost by the climax. Now, I admit I do tend to skim looking for dialogue and action (terrible habit, I know, but breaking it after so long is not easy!) but I went back and reread when I realized I was lost... and still couldn't quite work it out. I was a little confused by the first book's climax, too, but afterwards it had a handy, "This is what that means," paragraph so I got it. In Blue Fire, I was left going, "...huh?" (That said, I appreciate that at least Hardy doesn't talk down to her readers.)

However, the denouncement and the cliffhanger at the end were great. I think the very last section adds a lot of depth to the supporting cast, and I can't wait to see the how everything plays out when the series ends.

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