The Healer’s Dance By Jeanette Raleigh
Review by KaSonndra Leigh
I was provided a copy of Jeanette Raleigh’s Fantasy, the Healer’s Dance, through the Read2Review blog site. The main characters are Emily, a wind dancer and healer touched by the goddess of the world, Selenya. Stefan and Luke are her companions for the majority of the book. Enter the king and his evil son, Collough, who needs the power of a wind dancer to assist the high priest in his duty to keep their god Kaal happy. And you have the beginnings of a good read with characters that are strong, vivid, and that make you care about what happens to them in the end.
Part one involves getting Emily back to her home. I was slightly worried about where the story was headed to at first because I don’t usually dive into reading high fantasy as much these days. So the author had her work cut out to convince me to travel with our trio until the end. But thankfully Ms. Raleigh knows the importance of good pacing and the key to making the reader care about your characters. Issues of morality, humility, and even abstinence as a spiritual aspect in a relationship were the underlying themes present throughout the novel. Soon enough, I was hooked.
I also appreciated the uniqueness of the healers in this story. The way Emily uses her power in one scene to save the man she loves, Stefan, was heart wrenching. And the way Stefan learns the true purpose of his relationship with Emily was one of the most memorable scenes in the book. I actually began to feel as if these were characters I could both love and respect! We have Stefan the sacrificial, Emily the mysteriously touched and one of the Forgotten exiles, and Luke, the hopeless romantic. They all began to take the form of living, breathing humans for me after that scene. Even Wulf’s character was given a purpose in the story to improve its themes in such a way that was intensely spiritual. So when Ms. Raleigh brought on a host of dangers: evil priests, goblins, and a lot of other fantastical baddies, I was hooked into reading on just to make sure my favorites were safe.
The most prevalent problem I had with the book was the punctuation errors. There were many of them throughout the book, and sometimes made me stumble quite a bit. A tighter editing would give this charming story a punchier flow. Overall, the Healer’s Dance was an enjoyable read. I would recommend it to lover’s of classic fantasy looking for a good character-driven read.
I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars