Review: The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer #1)

Title: The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer #1)
Author: Lynette Noni
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Clarion Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.


Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan is the healer at the prison Zalindov, where she was taken as a prisoner with her father ten years ago. When the Rebel Queen arrives at the prison critically ill, Kiva must keep her alive to do the Trial by Ordeal. The Trial by Ordeal is a series of challenges with earth, water, air, and fire for the most dangerous criminals. The Rebel Queen is too ill to even stand, never mind complete the trial, so Kiva volunteers to do the trial in her place. However, Kiva doesn’t have the elemental magic required to beat the challenges. Kiva must take on this impossible task while also investigating a virus sweeping through the prison and spending time with an irresistible new inmate. 

I read this book while I was sick with Covid, and it kept my mind off being sick. This story was an original take on a “chosen one” story. Kiva didn’t seem like a typical hero, until she volunteered to take the place as the Rebel Queen in the trial. The tasks seemed impossible, which made it more exciting when she succeeded. 

The twists at the end of the story blew me away! I missed the hints of what was coming throughout the story, but after I knew what happened, I could see the clues. 

The Prison Healer is a fantastic young adult fantasy!

What to read next:

The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni

Other books in the series:

  • The Gilded Cage (The Prison Healer #2)
  • The Blood Traitor (The Prison Healer #3)

Have you read The Prison Healer? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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