The last bloodcarver by Vanessa Le

cover image

Nhika is a lonely and embittered heartsooth, and the local population of Theumas do not esteem her amazing healing skills. To them she is a Bloodcarver from the Yarongese clan, a despised people group that contain amazing healers and despite these skills they have virtually been wiped out.  Captured, she is then bought by a local wealthy family involved in the animatronic industry - the Congmi siblings. She has been asked to restore a comatose family friend, witness to the murder of the Congmi patriarch. Nhika has been escaping attention for a long time, but now she is thrust into a powerful world where she might at any moment be exposed and potentially eliminated. Her healing powers enable her to ‘enter’ bodies to diagnose and heal from within and the medical world is both fascinated and challenged by her skill. Will she be able to heal this time, or are the man’s injuries beyond her powers? Can she escape the attention of the local doctor and his aide, or will she inadvertently place herself in harm’s way, a victim of her own capabilities? 

I loved this book! It is an amazingly unique story, both sci-fi and fantasy woven together, with a generous sprinkling of romance and intrigue. It sometimes feels like it is set in the far past, and yet it occasionally travels into a future with robotic assistants and technological advances. This strange juxtaposition never feels wrong or out of balance - a credit to the author. It is tense and yet powerful in its emotional quality, exploring grief and warped relationships and abuse of power. And there is friendship and restoration that grows despite misunderstandings.  I was very impressed, and Vanessa Le’s medical knowledge shone through in Nhika’s healing journeys into the human body and this will appeal to those who enjoy science as well as those who love a unique fantasy.  This will be much enjoyed by readers aged 14+.

Themes: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Healing, Grief, Romance, Intrigue, Murder, LGBTIQ characters.

Carolyn Hull