Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Charlaina lives in a world ruled by royalty.  She's part of the working class, far removed from the court.  In her world, societies are broken down by languages, with Englaise being the common language.  For her part, she and her parents, who own a restaurant, speak Parshon.  As long as she's been alive, it's always been accepted that you don't make any type of contact with those that speak another language on a higher social order, but that's hard for Charlie.  She has a special gift - she can understand all languages....

Sabara, the queen knows she's losing her grip on her world.  She has to fight the Resistance, who wants to overthrow her, but more than that, her body is giving out on her.  She needs a replacement, a royal whom she can transfer into.  There's rumor of one, and she's put her grandson, Max, in charge of finding this rumor.  He can't let her down...she needs this one. 

Soon the city Charlaina lives in and Sabara rules become chaotic, with the underground Resistance bombing buildings and destroying lives.  Charlie, along with her best friend Brooklynn and Aron, watch as their lives are ripped apart.  But is this being done for the right reasons?  When Charlie is in the crosshairs of both factions, which will she trust? 

Derting's first dystopia novel blends in fantasy in a society struggling to stay alive.  Charlie is a strong female character whose responsibilities far surpass those of a typical teenager but her emotional struggles are all too real.  Seen from different viewpoints, with most of those being Charlie, helps the reader understand the full spectrum of the world Charlie lives in without being lost in the plot.  This mixed genre will please readers of both fantasy and dystopia and is pitched well on both sides.  Derting makes an excellent transistion from her mystery novels into dystopia.  Fans familiar with her Body Finder series will find her newest novel equally enthralling! 

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