The Pain Merchants (The Healing Wars) by Janice Hardy

The Pain Merchants (The Healing Wars)

Written by Janice Hardy
Part of the The Healing Wars Series

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Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2011

Part one of a powerful historical fantasy full of politics, magic and enchantment. The Healing Wars tells of the unusual powers of fifteen year old orphan, Naya. In a world where many have special power, Naya stands out from the other ‘Takers’ on account of her rare ability to move pain from person to person rather than simply remove it. When the city is filled with the injured survivors of a ferry accident Naya is needed by all but, most importantly, by her sister whose life she can save but her talents also make her a potential weapon to be exploited by The Pain Merchants.


The Pain Merchants (The Healing Wars) by Janice Hardy

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 she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city.

If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people. Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

About the Author

Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy on Janice Hardy:

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 Pain Merchants, I tapped into my dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. I live in Georgia with my husband, four cats and one nervous freshwater eel.

Picture © Karen Nickle Photography

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 11


Janice Hardy
More books by Janice Hardy

Author's Website


HarperCollins Children's Books

Publication date

6th January 2011




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