Kiva Meridian has spent 10 years of her life forced into imprisonment she didn’t deserve. Survival is never guaranteed, yet Kiva defines the odds to take on the role of prison healer.
But being the prison healer is dangerous. The other inmates don’t trust her and the guards are ruthless in breaking her down. However, when the Rebel Queen is captured, it becomes up to Kiva to keep her alive long enough to face her fate in the Trial by Ordeal.
When the day of the Trials arrives, with the Rebel Queen too sick to compete, Kiva has two choices; let the Rebel Queen die or take on the fate herself. But participating in the Trials is a death sentence, and no one has ever survived.
“My name is Kiva Meridan, and I claim her sentence as my own.”
This YA Fantasy/Dystopian came highly recommended and I purchased it without even reading the back cover. I could have lost the gamble with another DNF, but fortunately, I ended up with a beautifully crafted, well-written story.
One thing that totally elevates The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni has the most AMAZING surprise ending. I enjoyed this book, but the ending is what made me remember it! The author paves a nice path for the sequel out in October 2021. (The Gilded Cage is available for pre-order now!)
The Prison Healer is darker in nature, with the theme of imprisonment (both mentally and physically) wrapping around the entire story. But what really shines through, and is truly the heart of the book, is hope. I would definitely suggest you give The Prison Healer a try!
This brings me to the first location of importance: Zalindov
“I asked you what you think when you look at Tilda. You see a woman, a Rebel Queen or otherwise. But I look at her and see someone who is deathly ill, and needs my help. She represents everyone I’ve tried to save over the years. Everyone I’ve failed to save over the years. It’s not just one life for me-its all of them and they all matter.”
Trial by Air, Trial by Fire, Trial by Water, Trial by Earth.., and no one has ever survived.
Hold up…then why would Kiva be insane enough to volunteer to take the place of the Rebel Queen? This is a nagging question that followed me throughout the entire book! 😜
And why would Crown Prince Deverick and Crown Princess Mirryn want to help a prisoner from the most dangerous and forgotten prison in Evalon?
Kiva has some great supporting characters in Jaren (Who seems super cool and smoking hot at the same time), Tipp (A rebellious, funny little kid), and Naari (One of the only guards who doesn’t want to kill Kiva)
I was looking for the additional background as to why Kiva and her father were imprisoned in the first place, and while there were some details, I feel as if there is going to be a lot more revealed in the sequel.
This brings me to the Second location of importance: The Quarry
“Throughout all this, Kiva tried to ignore the firmness of his body, the reassurance of his strength supporting her. She wouldn’t let herself be comforted by his touch, no matter how safe, how protected, she felt in his arms.”
The Prison Healer was a slow start for me. If it hadn’t been a recommendation, there is a chance I might have stopped after the first few chapters. But this is one of those times that I learned (yet again!) that some of the best stories are discovered by reaching the end.
While the trials were brutal and made me cringe, they were important to Kiva’s journey. She needed to go through them to discover her true strength. In my opinion, the worst was the trial by water. I’m not going to give anything away, but just reading this chapter and what Kiva had to go through made me freak out just a little bit! 😐