Title: The Pledge written by Kimerly Derting
Genre: YA Ficton, YA Dystopian Fiction
Published by Margaret K. McElderberry Books
Page count: 323
Rating: 4/5 – I really liked this book!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #13
For sixteen year old Charlaina, life in Ludania means always being cautious and treading very very carefully. She lives in the country of Ludania with her protective parents and her little and very gifted sister Angelina. Ludania is a dystopian society with a very rigid class structure in place that resulted from a rebellion that took place against the royal family. Society is broken up into classes that have their own specific jobs, schools, rules and most importantly their own languages. It is a Matriarchal society that is ruled by a pretty nasty, evil Queen who is on the brink of death. Charlie and her family belong to the Vendor class which consists of merchants and their class language is Parshon. It is highly forbidden for people of Charlaina’s class to speak any language other than Parshon and Englaise (the Universal tongue) but Charlie and her family are hiding a secret, one that could cost Charlie her life. Charlie can understand and speak every class language as well as the language of the Royals. Her little sister also harbors great power within her as well. As Charlie tries desperately to keep her secret hidden, more and more trouble just keeps heading her way until she finds herself right in the middle of the struggle between the Queen and the rebels.
The Queen is on the hunt throughout Ludania for her female heir and also to squash the rebellion that is also seeking the heir so they can overthrow the current Queen and thereby destroy the destructive class structure. The big problem here is that every princess is born with special powers and the current Queen has ruled for centuries as she has been able to take over the body of her next heir and ensure her tyranny over and over again. Her powers are also destructive and she can harm people with a mere gesture.
As the Queens time runs out and she becomes ever more impatient to get her hands on her host, Charlie must make an impossible decision between the two seemingly simple options but that come with their own devastating consequences. Will she choose life or death?
I really really liked this book. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I am pretty obsessed with Dystopian literature and that will probably not be the last time you see me write this on here either. I struggled with whether to rate this as a four or a five. I ended up rating it as a four because while I really really liked this book I wasn’t super gaga over it either like I was with say, Matched by Ally Condie or Insurgent by Veronica Roth (notice how those are both Dystopian pieces, Gotta love that Dystopia!). Or more recently, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
I did find this story to be really original which I loved. I think the story is pretty interesting. I didn’t mention Max in my summary but he is a part of the story that I really really liked because it’s just really great to have a romance thrown into a YA Dystopian world. It just makes it that much more intense, but I don’t want to give away Max’s part in the story so you will have to read it to figure that out! This book did keep me interested from page one, I absolutely love when books can do that. I find that the worlds authors craft for us in Dystopian novels in particular are just so interesting. I wouldn’t say the novel is action packed but it does have some really great action scenes, it has some scenes that just make you swoon and also some scenes that are just so heart wrenching that seriously my eyes started to water on. I recommend giving this one a read, it’s not too heavy a read, I read it in a day so that just shows you how interesting it was. I couldn’t put it down! And once again, I love this cover!! i will hopefully be picking up the sequel to this book, The Essence as I am dying to know what will happen next.