The Prison Healer or How to World Build Well in a Single Setting

You might have seen my review a little while back on The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni, and it was safe to say that I adored it. It was such a great YA fantasy and turned out to be just what I needed when I read it. Once again, I’d like to thank the folks at Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a proof copy. As well as that, the second book will be out in October, and you are all gonna wanna preorder that just like I’ve done. So bear in mind that you will not have that long of a wait! With this book out today, I couldn’t resist being part of the social blast to celebrate its release.

Having already reviewed it, I’ve been wanting to dive into a particular aspect a little more. Whilst still remaining spoiler-free. Just in case any curious people decide to read this post before the book! If you’re debating reading this book – do it! I’m here to give you a few more reasons why.

This book is set in a prison. That’s obvious from the title. But what you might not figure from that is how small this setting actually is. There are a good few places that get explored, which does take more than a few days. But prison is still a small and limited setting. The characters can’t travel around, they aren’t going to be popping out into forests or heading to the next town over to answer some questions. Everything they do and everything they can find out can only belong in these walls.

And for many authors, that’s going to be limiting.

But Lynette Noni has been so clever with it.

In a prison you may have new people coming in. And you can get stories of the outside world through them. And that, along with memories and legends, is essentially how Noni does it. Just using conversation and having Kiva think back on what she knows. The setting of the prison itself is also pretty atmospheric. Nothing about the prison feels like a place you would want to be. You can picture the layout, the guards and the prisoners. And it’s so grey and dangerous and depressing. But in a lot of ways that makes the main characters stand out even more. Like bursts of colour.

There appear to be several different countries that use this prison. There are royal families, rebels and just people causing trouble outside in the big, wide world and the book actually lets you know about it. It’s not just passing comments that feel like they’ve just been thrown in there for world-building. It’s conversation that not only builds the world around you. But is helping the characters understand things too.

The world-building in this book seriously impressed me. It might not have been hugely diverse, but for what it was, it really worked. I want to read the second book now so I can explore this world properly. I want to know more about the countries and rebels and whatever else.

I really enjoyed this book, and I hope you all do too!

If you’ve preordered this book already or plan on picking it up? Why not let me know down below.


Amazon UK | Waterstones | Bookshop Org

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