The Healer's War

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
The Healer's War Cover

The Healer's War


The Healer's War is a book about the Vietnam War, with a touch of magic thrown in purely to be able to tell more of the story. It doesn't feel much like a regular genre work at all, and is all the better for it.

The book tells the story of Kitty, an Army nurse. This is a side of the war we don't often see in popular entertainment: behind the lines in relative safety, but still dealing with the human fallout of the conflict. I felt there was a verisimilitude to this section which suggested (rightly, it turned out) that it was based on the author's own experiences.

The magic comes in in the form of an amulet belonging to an old holy man, which he ultimately passes on to the nurse. This allows her to see auras and to perform some magical healing, and gives her the edge she needs to avoid being killed when things take a bad turn and we move into the second part of the tale.

I found the book engaging and informative. It's the third of three books that were on my original list for the Women of Genre Fiction challenge last year, but which all got bumped by later additions. The other two were Slow River by Nicola Griffith and Soulless by Gail Carriger. All three have been great, which probably means I'm an idiot for putting them off, but then the books I replaced them with weren't too shabby either.