Also known as: The Shifter (US title)
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Nya is one of Geveg’s many orphans; she survives on odd jobs and optimism in a city crippled by a failed war for independence.
Nya has a deadly secret. She is a Taker, someone who can extract pain and injury from others, but with unusual differences. Her sister Tali and other normal Takers become Healer’s League apprentices and put their extracted pain into enchanted metal, pynvium. But Nya can’t dump pain in this way. All she can do is shift it from person to person.
When Nya’s secret is revealed to the pain merchants and the Healer’s League she is flung into danger. Then a ferry accident floods the city with injured, Takers start disappearing from the Healer’s League and Nya’s strange abilities are suddenly in demand. Her principles and endurance are tested to the limit when Nya’s deadly powers become the only thing that can save her sister’s life.
200 words (or less) review: I bought this because my friends said it was good and I should read it. So I did, thank you remaining-anonymous-friend you were right.
Here is what I liked about The Pain Merchants, the story is interesting and while it is part of a trilogy the ending of the first book didn’t disappoint. The world building is seriously impressive, I could picture Nya’s environment exactly.
Tali is lovely and I found myself being just as protective of her as Nya is. Unlike Nya and the other characters (who are well formed from the start) Tali grows massively from the little girl at the beginning of the book.
The unravelling of the mystery surrounding the Healer’s League is well paced so you don’t get bored and the chapters when Nya sneaks in to get her sister were my favourite.