Well, Christmas is over, and it’s getting close to the time for me to return to the real world. I’m trying to read as much as possible before that happens because I know my free time will be limited soon. (I must go back to school on January 2nd. I’m nowhere near ready.)
Anyway, tonight I finished reading a book that was on my to-read list pretty much all year: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting. Like me, you may have read Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder series (The Body Finder, Desires of the Dead, The Last Echo, and Dead Silence–which comes out in April). Well, this new series–which begins with The Pledge–has some things in common with The Body Finder (a strong female main character, a love interest, special abilities, and battling evil), but in other ways, it’s completely different. Where The Body Finder, at least in my mind, is a paranormal mystery series, The Pledge is more dystopian with a supernatural twist. It’s kind of cool.
In the distant future, powerful queens with magical abilities rule each nation. Some queens are merciful and loved by the people. Others rule with an iron fist and tolerate absolutely no sign of rebellion. One queen in particular insists that each class be divided by language. In the country of Ludania, Queen Sabara is a ruler to be feared. Her power is formidable…but it is fading. If she doesn’t find another to take her Essence (the life-force that has been passed from queen to queen for centuries), both she and her Essence will die. That cannot be allowed to happen.
Charlaina–Charlie to her friends and family–has always known she was different. Unlike those around her, she can understand all of the languages spoken around her. Even when she’s not supposed to. Even if she’d never heard the language spoken before. If Charlie’s secret were discovered it could mean certain death. Her parents have helped her to keep this gift hidden, but someone–someone powerful–may have inadvertently discovered Charlie’s secret. What will he do with his suspicions? Will he turn her over to the queen, or will he pledge to be Charlie’s fiercest protector?
As revolution against the queen draws ever closer, Charlie finds herself embroiled in something that she never expected or wanted. According to those around her, she’s more important that she realizes, and it may be up to her to usurp the queen that she–and every other citizen of Ludania–has pledged their lives to obey and protect. Charlie is unsure of who she can trust, but she is sure of one thing. Her secret is about to be revealed…but even she isn’t prepared for what that might mean. Can Charlie do what must be done? Can she sacrifice all she’s ever known or believed for the possibility of a better future for Ludania? Is she strong enough to face the battle ahead? Read Kimberly Derting’s The Pledge to learn how one young girl has the power to topple a despot…if she’ll only believe in herself.
Before anyone points it out, yes, I know I haven’t told you a whole lot, and I know this isn’t the greatest recap I’ve ever written. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really know what to say about this book. It’s a dystopian novel with some supernatural stuff thrown in, but it’s also a story about love, friendship, loyalty, and rebellion. The main character–and many others in this book–are battling an evil that none of them truly understand. I’m not even sure I understand it fully. (I do know, however, that a queen that can essentially Force-choke those who cross her would be an enemy I wouldn’t want to have.) I’m hoping things will be cleared up in the next book, The Essence, which is set to be released on New Year’s Day (if it’s not already out in some places).
To hear the author herself talk about the creating of The Pledge, check out this vlog from Novel Novice.