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The Shifter (Healing Wars #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  4,269 ratings  ·  384 reviews
Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All sh ...more
Library Binding, 370 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen (first published September 28th 2009)
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I really liked the sound of The Shifter's summary and it didn't take much encouragement to go off to amazon and download it. I have to say the cover was something that definitely drew me in, I loved the touch of fantasy to it.

The Shifter is the first book in The Healing Wars trilogy by Janice Hardy.

I was very taken in by the world building. I loved the way the world Hardy introduces us to. You've got a country that's been conquered in war, where its native people are subjected to prejudice and p
Apr 01, 2015 Mery rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mery by: 仔, 我 决 定 爱 你 一萬年
Shelves: kerjaan, terjemahanku
Nya, seorang gadis yatim piatu yang memiliki kemampuan sebagai Taker. Dia bisa merasakan rasa sakit milik seseorang, menariknya, dan menyimpannya ke dalam tubuh.

Tapi berbeda dengan adiknya, Tali, dan para Taker lainnya, bakat Nya ga sempurna. Dia ga bisa memasukkan rasa sakit itu ke dalam pynvium, sebuah benda tersihir yang bisa menampung rasa sakit. Alih-alih, Nya bisa memindahkan rasa sakit tersebut ke dalam tubuh orang lain. oleh karena itu Nya hidup susah di jalanan, sementara adiknya tingga
From reading the dust jacket I already loved the magic system. By half-way through chapter 1 I was smiling along with the voice of the book, and by the end of the chapter I was impressed with the pacing of the story. The rest of the book was just as good.

One of the really great things about this book is that the characters are entirely self-consistent. Their actions may not always be expected, but to a point they make sense based on who the character is, including age, personality, and motivatio
The Shifter is a lovely change of pace from standard fantasy fare – no knights here, and no vampires, werewolves, or witches either. Instead I found a fascinating world, where Healers are a magic resource that can be used to fuel a war, where the politics of conquest cause poverty and helplessness, and where a war-made orphan is determined to do whatever is necessary to save her sister.

The loss of everything she ever had is the crucible that molded Nya, a desperate and determined girl. Her matte
I really was completely indifferent to most of this story. I skimmed the better part of the book after establishing the main characters and who I needed to follow.

Not that entertaining at all until the last five minutes where there was a hint of interest from the MC to the one guy I preferred. It might be enough for me to read the next one if it's free.

This book just was NOT what I expected. I expected a girl who didnt know what to do with herself, living off her sisters money. Not a girl making a living doing differnt jobs. The book was quite good. I just didnt like the (view spoiler). I just hope I can read the next books in the series.

P.D. This is the 3rd book i finished reading today (this was useless information brought to you by lala_loopsie)

THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS for this Goodreads!!!!!!!
This book is written in the main character Nya's point of view. This book reminded me of how some people will do anything to protect there friends and family. Throughout the story Nya does many things that if word got around would put her in danger and chased by the healers league for shifting. Nya and her sister Tali are orphans from the war but Nya has to life on the streets because she can't feel pynium. One day when her sister goes missing she ends up putting her life on the line. She makes ...more
It took a little bit to pinpoint what bothered me about this book. It had an interesting concept, but it fell flat for me throughout the entirety of the book, and even when I finished reading it I just sort of stared, shrugged, and felt kind of 'meh'.

What bugged me, I think, is that while I love action, I love racing from scene to scene and one crisis to another, there was little other than that. Plot is good. Lots of plot is good. But if you overwhelm the story with what you (the author) want
The Shifter by Janice Hardy

This was a YA I had been wanting to read and a friend lent it to me. It opens in a place that reminds me of eighteenth century Europe right down to various dukes invading and conquering their neighbors. It opens in conquered Geveg centering on Nya, a young woman living hand to mouth after the death of her parents and grandmother during the war (that the Gevegians lost). Her sister Tali is a little luckier, having a magical ability to heal people by drawing out their pa
I've had a hard time finding a good fantasy book in the YA genre. Some are too long winded and stale, some are too full of angst and drama, and others are just plain boring. The Shifter is unique and full of action. For once I actually care about the different backgrounds of the characters and the different factions. There wasn't a single thing I wasn't interested in in this book. I wish this book was more talked about and suggested. I stumbled upon it by chance at the library and I wish I had h ...more
After reading the above blurb, I was so excited to begin The Pain Merchants. I thought the premise sounded fascinating and also thought-provoking. I found myself wondering about the moral implications of having an ability like the main character Nya. Why would you remove a person's pain just to give it to another person? Can purposefully causing another person pain ever be acceptable or morally right? I had expectations that The Pain Merchants would make me face ethical dilemmas and consider the ...more
Terri (Reading By Starlight)
Description from the book jacket: “Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker — with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and other Takers who become Healers’ League apprentices, Nya’s skill is flawed: She can’t push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from f ...more
Lisa Nocita
Nya is a taker. She can take pain, illness, and injury from those who are afflicted with a touch. Her father was an enchanter, one who prepared the rock to hold such misery, and her mother was a healer. Her grandmother held the highest office before their country was conquered by a power hungry, land grabbing duke. The world is a harsh place for those on the bottom rungs of the social order; the new regime is unfriendly to the native inhabitants. Only the healers still have a useful and much nee ...more
Reading Sarah
In Nya's world pain is a product to be bought and sold. Many people, including Nya, can take pain and heal. Unlike most people though, Nya can't transfer the pain into the Pynvium stone that is later shaped into pain-dealing weapons. Nya is instead, a Shifter, she can act as a conduit, shifting pain from one person to another, sometimes holding the pain to herself for a time. She's unusual and dangerous and valuable to those who lack scruples enough to use her when the Pynvium supply runs low.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I saw this book back in February of 2013, but dismissed it. Later on, (this week) I found the author's website that helped writers write better.I found her website helpful and insightful. That's when I decided to see what she wrote. Incidentally, I was led right back to this book.

This book is upper middle grade, and isn't very long (compared to YA for older audiences). The world it is built in is very imaginative and creative. Originality is harder and har
I cannot stress enough how awesome this book was! Nya is a tortured character that not only possesses immense resolve and determination, but an honor and goodness that is refreshing, though throughout the book she is faced with the hardest choices I can immagine, still at the end of the story you love her despite her myriad flaws.

Nya is a fifteen year old orphan who has been landed with way too many responsibilites these range from her own saftey, work, food and board to being her sister's p
Dec 26, 2011 R rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I was excited to read this book. I hadn't read a story like this before, with healers drawing pain unto themselves (although I have heard of A Touch of Power).

It was a nice story and action-packed. I liked the protagonist, Nya, although I don't like her name. She's strong and independent, a good female heroine. She was also fiercely protective of her sister, and willing to do everything in order to protect her family. Definitely an admirable trait. The other characters were also fun and didn't j
Ages 10+ (one "ass", violence, general complexity)

I'm not sure what to think about this one. It's hard to wrap my head around genuine world-built fantasy sometimes (although I have no problem with science fiction, huh). New vocabulary must be absorbed, passages demand re-reading in order to understand them. But the story of Nya, an orphan in an defeated and culturally oppressed country, is terribly intriguing.

See, Nya is from a family of Healers, folks with a magical bent who can absorb pain a
K.M. Weiland
From the very first scene, I knew I was safely in the hands of an author who knew what she was doing. Hardy weaves a nice tale based on a charmingly unique and possibility-ridden premise: what if healing hurt? She creates a convincing little cosmos for her characters, raises the stakes high from the beginning, and keeps the action rolling from page one. I appreciated that she presents her main character with tough choices and makes her live through their consequences. Gorgeous cover too!
Head in the clouds
Definitely more of a middle-grade fantasy rather than an YA in terms of writing style, but the content is pretty dark at times. I liked the main character Nya - she had spunk and intelligence and was fiercely loyal. She had to make some pretty horrific decisions that had devastating consequences but that is the cost of power and she did pretty well for someone in her situation. The rest of the kids are also pretty good - they are realistic in the sense that not everyone is completely nice and I ...more
The Shifter is an engaging read that's easy to pick up and finish in one sitting. The plot flows well and the characters, at least to me, felt believable.

Nya was born with an ability she has to hide, but I like that it's because her powers are 'flawed', not because she has them at all. While many people can take pain and put it into pynvium, Nya can send this pain into others. The emotional struggles such an ability creates make the plot captivating to me. What would you do if you could take an
found it hard to decide between 2.5 stars and 3 stars but decided to round up. I did enjoy the plot and all the action and magic, but I was not a fan of Nya's voice. somehow it kind of annoyed me, though eventually I was able to ignore it for the story.

although the adventures and magic were fun, I didn't love any of the characters. I did admire Nya for how proactive she was in getting things done, and her determination to make things right, but other than that, none of them made much of an impr
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
besides the ending being ridiculously cheerful with an annoying go get them attitude, and the over-whelming amount of crying done by Nya from guilt this book was actually pretty good. it was a quick fun read. I overall enjoyed the main character, Nya and the main side characters. i found them amusing, strong, brave and usually compassionate in a world that has become terrible and war stricken. I wander if all places taken over look like this afterwards? it was truly horrid. These wonderful chara ...more
Hannah Cobb
Nya survives on the edges of a war-torn society, taking odd jobs or stealing to get food. Her life would be a lot easier if she didn't have to hide her magical ability: she can Shift, or take pain from one person and shove it into another. Nya hates her ability, because even though she can heal the person she takes the pain from, she can't safely store the pain in pynvium, the special metal true Healers use. When Nya discovers that the Healers she reveres may be hiding dangerous secrets, she has ...more
The plot of the story was written fairly well. It flowed well and was full of surprises, you were not always sure what was going to happen next. However, I found the ending to occur too suddenly, when in the rest of the book the issues the characters faced and how they were resolved happened at a reasonable pace. The conclusion happened so quickly and the main issue in the story was resolved but there had been no real thought put into it. It just happened. I found it quite unsatisfying, Hardy ki ...more
Others have written that if you love The Hunger Games series, you'll love The Healing Wars series. I *loved* The Hunger Games series, but this book didn't speak to me the way The Games did. In fact, not even close. I'm not sure if it's because I found the main character to be unappealing or if it's because the story line didn't grab me. I had high hopes for this book and maybe that's why I only gave it two stars. It just didn't live up to my expectations.
Jan 24, 2010 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: magic
Really cool premise- there are people with the ability to remove pain with a touch of their hands and then dispose of it into a type of rock. Tali has this gift, but her sister, Nya can do a little bit more. Nya winds up using her gift and then is chased after by all sorts of nefarious characters. The plot was both a little confusing at times and also predictable, but I enjoyed reading all the same. Looking forward to book two...

Cinette Santangelo
I've been meaning to read this story for ages, and now that I have, I regret having taken so long to get to it! I could not put it down. The characters are engaging and the story is incredibly well written, with tension on every page. Thank goodness I have the second book in the series, BLUE FIRE next to me, so I can continue on into this riviting trilogy.
Recommended to anyone looking for a new and exciting Young Adult fantasy.
Anita Truong
More like a 2.5 Star read since it teeters very much in the "MEH" category. But I have to admit that once the show got going, I found enough enjoyment in it to continue reading the rest of the series. At the very least, there's a sense of, "Hmm, what's next?" going on here.

The characters weren't relatable; the heroes were flat and unexciting and the villains were kind of comical (I kept envisioning a creepy looking dude with a curling mustache and twirling it while plotting to do evil). The worl
Annmarie Ager
there was lots to like about this book. the story was unlike anything i have read before and the characters were amazing they made mistakes which made them more real. i loved the twists in the book and most of all the main character was such a shinning star with so much talent. the whole book was strong and exciting for the first chapter all the way to the last. gripping and magical loved it
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I wonder if Danello likes Nya? 3 15 Jul 21, 2014 04:07PM  
what did you think? 10 44 May 31, 2013 08:35AM  
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I’m a voracious reader, which used to get me into a lot of trouble in school. Eventually, I figured out writing stories in class made it look like I was doing actual work, so my teachers left me alone. Since then, writing has worked out way better than algebra ever did. I now write young adult fiction and no one ever tells me to cut it out and pay attention anymore. For my debut fantasy novel, The ...more
More about Janice Hardy...

Other Books in the Series

Healing Wars (3 books)
  • Blue Fire (Healing Wars, #2)
  • Darkfall (Healing Wars, #3)
Blue Fire (Healing Wars, #2) Darkfall (Healing Wars, #3) Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction #1) Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers Eight Against Reality

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