Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The pledge by Kimberly Derting

Charlie lives in Ludania, a country ruled by the iron fist of its queen, and where the classes are kept separated by the languages they speak.  While everyone shares the common language of Englaise, the classes speak different languages, and it is against the law to understand another language, or to raise your eyes to someone when they are speaking a higher classes langauge.  It is dangerous to understand things that you shouldn't, and for her whole life Charlie has kept the secret that she can understand all languages - the ones spoken aloud, and the language hidden in ancient words. 

Her parents have always warned her to hide the truth, that she shouldn't let other people know what she can do, but as she gets older it becomes harder and harder to do.  With her country on the brink of war, Charlie crosses paths with Max and Xander, two very different men who both seem to want something from her, who both seem to have secrets that they are keeping from her.  When things take a dangerous turn, Charlie needs to make choices that affect not only her, but also her little sister Angelina - who is hiding secrets of her own.

The pledge was a gripping read that seems to have borrowed from several different genre to make a world that is unique and interesting, a dystopian future that has a touch of fantasy and steam punk, with just a dash of romance on the side.  Told mainly from the viewpoint of Charlie, you get flashes from the other characters that lead the story forward and give you a different perspective, without jumping backwards and forwards for different points of view.  Charlie is a strongly written character with her strengths and weaknesses, and the relationship she has with her little sister Angelina is just lovely.  The supporting characters are well developed, and there is enough intrigue to keep you guessing about what is coming next, but also has some moments where you go "aha, I knew it!"

This is definitely a cross over novel that will appeal to readers of all different genres, but is at the same time definitely one for the girls - there just isn't enough genuine action to appeal to the boys, and the love story side of things would make most teenage boys roll their eyes.  This is just screaming out to be made into a movie one day, and it is one of those rare books where although the story finishes neatly in one book, it does finish on a nice note that leaves you satisfied.

If you like this book then try:
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • The secret prince by D. Anne Love
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Crown duel by Sherwood Smith
  • Alanna the first adventure by Tamora Pierce
  • Under the mountain by Maurice Gee
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Reviewed by Brilla

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