Rites of the Healer


288 pages
ISBN 1-894549-59-7
DDC jC813'.6






Reviewed by Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher writes novels for young adults. Her most recent works
are The Trouble with Liberty, Zee’s Way, and Chat Room.


Edlena is a world out of touch. It is out of touch with its people, its
culture, its history, and its beliefs. The Villagers cling to a
technology they no longer understand, blindly following meaningless
rituals and thereby leaving the door open for power-hungry New Schoolers
to make a bid for power. Their coup hinges on the village’s water

Led by the evil priest, Havkad, the New Schoolers are holding the water
back at its lake source reservoir, something the Villagers don’t even
know exists. Havkad tells them the Gods are punishing them for resisting
the ways of the New Schoolers, whose beliefs spring from those of the
Founders, the masterminds behind the lost technology. It is 16-year-old
Dovella who realizes the water is being cut off at the source and sets
out to rectify the situation. Though an engineering apprentice, Dovella
is also a healer. When she realizes that this dangerous expedition will
keep her from taking part in the Healers’ Rites—an opportunity that
would recognize her skills and will never come again—she is torn
between two loyalties.

In Rites of the Healer, Anne Gray has taken on a huge load. Because
the novel is a fantasy, she has had to create an entire new world, one
which is very complex. For the most part she has done a good job,
infusing themes of prejudice and ignorance into an exciting plot. Loose
ends are nicely tied up at the end. Recommended.


Gray, Anne., “Rites of the Healer,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/22817.