Review #350

The Prison Healer was a unique young adult fantasy read but I probably won’t finish the trilogy. I’d rate it a 3.6/5 stars. Have you read it? Do you agree or disagree? 

Here’s my thoughts live while reading: 

Kiva is a young (17?) year old healer in a prison and is looked down upon by her inmates by being the warden’s pet. But her desire to revolt is just as strong as theirs. Her family is on the outside but I don’t know why these people are imprisoned, what they have done, or the rules of the land yet. It doesn’t seem like she does any prisoners favors by healing their wounds since they’ll return right back to harsh work within their shared cage.  

At the start I’m already so depressed. There doesn’t seem to be much hope. 

I’m not liking the joking reference to possibly swooning (regardless of how attractive he is) or even anti-swooning because they’re in a prison and there’s two dead guys next to them so it just doesn’t feel like a “locked eyes” kind of moment. 

Well I already like little 11 year old sidekick, Tipp, so he will probably die later. 

Given the emotions of this new guy, Jaren, it seems he is in the prison on purpose. Foreshadowing? 

Things got interesting on page 62! But I’m guessing the stakes will be raised more. I’m kind of wishing she was imprisoned 3-4 years ago instead of 10 because it seems like she wouldn’t have held onto hope for this long to see her family again after 10 years. It’s more than half her life. 

I really like that the backstory of the original king and queen wasn’t confusing at all. 

Her sacrifice has a Hunger Games vibe. I just wish we had more info about whether she’s a rebel or not at this point. 

The first trial felt so rushed and random. Why would the (spoiler free) person help her? It doesn’t make sense. And she has 0% of surviving the other trials since she has no skills and has no idea what the challenges will be. 

Around page 160 I’ve become frustrated because her motivation and focus is changing to finding the origin of the spreading sickness within the prison. Yes, it’s intriguing that no guards have gotten I’ll. But I want her focus to be on how she’s going to survive the next trial. I want her to bribe someone who might have information or real into the wardens office for clues. Instead she’s just accepting her fate. Which means the next trial will probably be another breeze where she doesn’t have any agency and is rescued conveniently by something out of her control.

I’m interested in why the “amber eyed guard” Naari is so much nicer than the others. Will she be a traitor in the end? 

Will there be a love triangle between Kiva, the prince and Jaren. 

I’m getting annoyed that she keeps repeating the same message from her family: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” It’s becoming a bit redundant . 

I’m assuming the prisoners are being poisoned. Why? By who? 

What? Jaren’s identity? Not believable and kind of throwing me off. 

The rebel queen was who?! Okay well I didn’t see that coming. But I made the healer powers prediction early on. 

This was a unique young adult fantasy read but I probably won’t finish the trilogy. 

Here’s the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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