The Shifter, by Janice Hardy (Balzar & Bray, 2009)

Nya has a gift, and a curse. Like all Takers, she can heal with a touch, drawing the suffering into her own body. But instead of shifting the pain into pynvium, a metal capable of storing it for future use, she can only pass it on to other people, an aspect of her power she’s loathe to use. Scrounging to survive on the streets, incapable of joining the Healing League due to her flaws, Nya’s worst fears are realized when the discovery of her talent makes her the target of those who would exploit her for harm and profit. Now, to save her sister, her friends, and herself, she must discover the shocking secrets hidden in the Healing League’s citadel, even as her moral and ethical limits are sorely tested. Set in the middle of a war, with racial tensions high and trouble around every corner, this is a thought-provoking, powerful debut for Hardy.

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