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Healer's Touch Kindle Edition
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"Deb E. Howell comes out swinging!" -- Craves the Angst Book Blog
"Howell is only scratching the surface of her writing talents and worth watching as the series develops." -- Noor A. Jahangir
"Healer's Touch brought very real, very wet tears to my eyes on several occasions, and this is one of the signs that let me distinguish between good authors and great authors. ...I really felt this book." -- Hypervorean Book Blogger
"From the first chapter Llew grabs hold of your heart and you are there fighting with her." -- Eclipse Reviews
"...an epic fantasy adventure and is a tiny bit reminiscent of an Eddings book..." -- Lost Inside The Covers Review Blog
From the Author
- ASIN : B00DJE8NSK
- Publisher : Kristell Ink, Grimbold Books (June 20, 2013)
- Publication date : June 20, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 1511 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 368 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 190984506X
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,673 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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But anyhow, this story has one of the best opening chapters I've ever read. Llew is a believable character, and her tough situation is handled well - warning there are some gritty trigger type moments in this story.
There's an interesting take on magic as genetics and how it has effectively created a belief system of prejudice, not too mention a war between neighboring countries because when the different races' magics have side effects like being able to kill something with a touch, well naturally you'd think that person was inherently up to no good.
Despite all the big picture brink of war type problems the story could have followed, it doesn't end in the typical battle of nations, refreshingly it very much focuses on the personal struggles of the main character Llew, and it's one of those stories you quickly begin to care deeply for the well-being of the central characters.
The unrealistic part comes from the fact she's supposed to look like a boy and yet i can count with one hand the number of characters of the opposite gender who don't either immediately become wildly attracted to her and/or try to r*pe her. oh yeah, warning there, there's no less than 5 rape attempts and a couple successful ones. the latter of which are there for drama because by all means, based on the characters powers she should have been able to fend the latter very effectively.
The problem is how all characters (who by all means were trained professional adults) kept acting like preteens throwing tantrums left and right. the story is good and the characters have potential, but a good revision would help it haps.
The world construction was well thought out will differing flora for different continents. I particularly like the certain tree, but can't elaborate as that would be a spoiler. I had imagined the Wild West aspect of the book would put me off as I do happen to live in cowboy country, but it was not intrusive and very well handled. This is a very unique and original world.
I see there has been threads left unanswered at the end of the book that will lead nicely into the second book of the series. I will be looking forward to reading this.
Top reviews from other countries
Looking for something enjoyable and interesting to read, I found this offering languishing in my TBR pile…
Llew has a gift. Her body heals itself from any injury - but at a cost to anyone nearby. In a country fearful of magic, freeing yourself from the hangman's noose by wielding forbidden power brings dangers of its own. After dying and coming back, Llew drops from the gallows into the hands of Jonas: the man carrying the knife with the power to kill her - permanently.
Llew has had a hard time of it. Abandoned by her drunken father and swindled out of her rightful inheritance by the city authorities, she finds herself on the streets dressed as a boy and thieving to stay alive – until she steals the knife of a well-dressed stranger. And everything changes… Often protagonists appear to be able to cope with difficult conditions unrealistically – but Llew is able to soak up a huge amount of physical punishment by pulling life energy from her surroundings to heal herself. I really liked this character. She is genuinely tough, both physically and emotionally, so that when she hits hard times she tends to get on with it. Having spent six years on the streets, she is used to fending for herself and I liked the fact she is flummoxed by wearing a dress and suddenly very unsure of herself when mixing with other girls of her own age.
I also loved the premise – the healing power she generates has to come from somewhere and given she is totally untrained, it comes from any living thing within her orbit. Often in fantasy books, those objecting to magical powers seem simply prejudiced about something different. But I felt the folks that went around exterminating anyone with Llew’s powers had a point – in the wrong circumstances, she is simply lethal. Jonas is one such individual – but when their paths cross unexpectedly, he finds himself very reluctant to carry out his mission. The romance is well handled so that it doesn’t become the main issue, but acts as an engine to drive the plot forward as the classic fantasy theme – how do we treat someone with good intentions who nevertheless has the potential to be destructive – plays out.
And when someone with such a powerful gift pops up, you can bet there will be someone else all too happy to track them down and use said destructive gifts for their own ends. Sure enough, there is a powerful magic-user who is on Llew’s trail with a dark agenda of his own regarding her powers. I liked the backstory regarding Jonas and Braph’s past and how their own genetic heritage plays out in the world Howell has depicted.
I’m conscious this sounds like a purely classic fantasy tale – but Howell takes those genre tropes and gives them a spin. Llew isn’t some helpless female unable to cope without a man looking after her – indeed, she becomes part of a guard detail, herself. And while I liked and sympathised with her, I winced at the trail of damage she leaves in her wave and found it only too understandable why most of her kind have been killed. This is a well written, interesting tale that has stayed with me since I’ve read it and I highly recommend this one for any fantasy fan who enjoys a well-told adventure with some interesting twists.
But as Llew learns more about Jonas, and about her own powers, she comes to realise that he is devoted to hunting down and killing Healers. Healers like Llew. Torn between opposing forces who want to make use of her own skill, and her growing desire for Jonas, Llew finds herself riding even deeper into danger.
The steampunk elements are slight here (paddle steamers and the brass wrists guns, cogs and goggles of the villain’s armoury), but they do add an edge to this fantasy Wild West. And the shared heritage of the Karan and the Aenuks (and their super-enhanced counterparts) is complex and fascinating, and perhaps could have benefited from being explored at greater length.
I wasn’t a great fan of the romantic sub-plot between Llew and Jonas, which felt as if it was moving a little too fast – their tendency to smooch like horny teenagers at moments of impending danger made me want to chuck a bucket of water over them. Jonas’ “man of mystery” act makes him hard to warm to, even when he reveals his tragic back story. But Llew makes up for it by being funny, tough, compassionate, and not too hardened by her rough upbringing, beneath the tomboyish shell she has a lovable soft centre.
If you like your cowboys with a dash of brass, and your fantasy with a spoonful of romance, you will really get into this book. There’s a great deal to enjoy here, from the clever plotting to the intricate world-building. Looking forward to part two!
I was very easily drawn into the world of Healer's Touch, and Llew, the main character. I was worried at first that she was going to turn out to be the stereotypical Fantasy-Orphan-With-Mysterious-Powers, however she is ANYTHING but: strong, sassy, at times very funny, damaged, but not to the extent that she's a chore to read, which is a trap a lot of people fall into when creating characters with tragic pasts. Her counterpart, and love interest, Jonas, has an equally tragic past. I must say I found his character slightly less believable, perhaps because he was not the protagonist and thus we never got inside his head, and only see what Llew sees. There is a bit of star-crossed-lovers thing going on, which had the potential to annoy me, but unlike a lot of books coming out since the Twilight obsession began, it is not the main focus of the book, there is a strong, compelling plot, well-drawn world, and a wider cast of characters. After a while it kind of fades into the background and sits there simmering. I've a feeling there will be a sequel to this little gem and that there will be more going on in the romance department then. I'm quite hopeful however that it will remain sensible and not become a smoosh-fest. I have to say, there are moments in Healer's Touch when I was a little bit .... 'come on, keep your hands off each other for a second', but I think this aspect will probably appeal to a lot of people who are of a more romantic disposition than myself.
My favourite thing about this book is the way it twists classic fantasy in minor but unique ways. There are many aspects to the plot and character arcs that I thought I had all figured out when I started reading and then, bam, something else happened entirely. I also LOVE the Western theme running through the world, and the fact that there is a very subtle Steampunk element also. I love Steampunk, it's one of my favourite genres, and this contains many of the great elements of SP - costume, gadgets - without trying to pretend it's a straight up Steampunk novel. It's a Fantasy novel with Steampunk elements and it works brilliantly because of it - I've read far too many books lately billed as SP which actually turned out to be straight Fantasy or SF, with a few top hats and corsets thrown in. This is not such a book, if you like Steampunk you won't be disappointed.
Overall, an excellent read, I look forward to the next installment.
It's a pity that in such a generally well-crafted story there is a significant inconsistency. At one point Llew suddenly develops the ability to run very fast for long periods - but none of the other characters seem to notice anything strange in this, much less seek an explanation! We find out later that it's connected with Llew's pregnancy, but that isn't known to the others. So why doesn't someone find it strange, at least?
Perhaps I missed something. I hope so, because otherwise it's strangely clumsy mistake for this obviously talented author to make.