Book Review: Valor of the Healer by @annathepiper

Valor of the Healer (Rebels of Adalonia #1) by Angela Highland – 4 stars

The Rook

An assassin hired by vengeful elven rebels to kill the calculating Duke of Shalridan, Julian walks into a trap and barely escapes with his life. Healed by a beautiful captive in the dungeons, he’s enthralled and vows to free her from the duke’s clutches.

The Hawk

A Knight of the Hawk duty-bound to cleanse elven magic from Adalonia, Kestar has a secret—and heretical—ability to sense the use of magic from afar. He knows something suspicious is happening in the duke’s keep, but he has no idea how deep the conspiracy goes.

The Dove

A half-elven healer with no control over her magic, Faanshi is the goddess’s to command. She’s always been a pawn of the powerful, but after healing two mysterious and very different men, she faces a choice that may decide the fate of the whole kingdom…

This book has great characters and a solid plot. It’s the first of a trilogy and focuses on the Healer. She begins meek and grows into full personhood with a deft, natural progression of character development. The assassin and soldier have less growth, which isn’t surprising given that each man has his own book in the trilogy.

I found Faanshi’s portrayal to be subtle and striking, and entirely believable. Julian struck me also a very real person. Kestar seemed to be the weak link among the trio, though he’s in the background for most of this part of the story and I suspect he’ll shine in the final book, Victory of the Hawk.

None of the secondary characters were scene-stealers or left a significant impression. I did sometimes find myself wishing Celoren could have had more POV time. The various elven and horse names got to be a little much to juggle towards the end.

While I did like this book, it didn’t grab me by the neck and demand I read it. It’s still good, solid traditional fantasy, and I recommend it for folks who enjoy that genre.

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