The Prison Healer is the first book in the Prison Healer series by Lynette Noni. I want to thank Penguin Random House for the review copy.
Content and trigger warnings: Abuse, blood, graphic injuries, death, drugs, loss of a loved one, mentioned rape, self harm, torture, and violence.
Here at Zalindov, the only person you can trust is yourself.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Prison Healer and I already want the second book in the series so I can find out what happens next.
Noni has done such an amazing job building this world and prison that anyone would dread to be sent through. Although it is organised, the guards are brutal and Kiva is lucky to have survived in Zalindov. When reading, I can truely imagine the prison and see what Kiva is experiencing and how the prison looks.
The character development of Kiva and the introduction of Jaren and Naari in the early chapters, show the change in Kiva and how she truly doesn’t interact with other prisoners. Her relationship with Tipp is how I imagine a brother and sister would interact with one another if they were wanting the other to survive. Over the course of the book we see the interactions between Jaren and Kiva, develop and change from being aloof and cold through Jaren’s introduction to Zalindov. I also loved the interactions between Kiva and Naari. Naari doesn’t act like the other prison guards and I loved finding more about her as the booked progresses. The twists and the truth about these characters were absolutely amazing and has me needing book 2.
The flashbacks and the stories deepen the world of Wenderall and why there is a division within the people. Through the stories that Kiva tells, we learn the history of Wenderall and why there are rebels in the present time. The Trials by Ordeals remind of the trials in Vardaesia that Alex and her friends go through.
I definitely recommend The Prison Healer to people who enjoyed the Medorian Chronicles and lovers of Fantasy.