Fiction, High Fantasy, Young Adult

Review: Healer’s Touch by Deb Howell

Healer's Touch book cover
Image from Deb E. Howell

Title: Healer’s Touch

Author: Deb E. Howell

Genre: High Fantasy

For Llew, a young pickpocket who lives on the streets, the real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a girl to her wedding to let her travel with them. On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits, and the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer. One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to ‘kill the unkillable’; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.

I picked this up for two main reasons. First, I liked the concept of a girl with the gift of healing by hurting other people. And second, it was free.

Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have finished this book. It was far too loose in the morals department. Sex with random people was commonplace for almost all of the characters. For the most part, I liked everybody – especially tough and determined Llew and dangerous Jonas – but they were all a bit too promiscuous for my taste.

Besides the excessive sex, my other problem with Healer’s Touch was getting a little confused. There was the exact number of Llew’s traveling companions: there were somewhere between three and six guys, and between nicknames and minor roles, I’m not really sure. And with not knowing how many men there were, it was hard to keep track of how many knew Llew was a girl (that was one secret that didn’t stay secret for long). And the last confusing part was the various magic people. Llew was one kind of healer person, and Jonas was one kind of something else, but I think there were two other types – or maybe subsets of types? Still not sure about that.

If you manage to keep track of everything and don’t mind the sex, it was actually a pretty good book. Llew is trying to come to terms with the destructive nature of her power and trying to avoid the witch hunt that’s after her. Jonas is known for killing her kind. And Jonas’s evil half-brother Braph has “magic” that is powered by blood of people like Llew. Plenty of action, but more magicky stuff than fights, and lots of suspense.

The plot managed to keep me interested, which is the only reason I finished it. It had a good basic story. Unfortunately, the excessive sex killed it for me.


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