The Pledge by Kimberly Derting 5/5*****
Seventeen-year-old Charlaina is from Ludania, a country ruled by a cruel queen. The country is divided into a class system and every class has its own language. No lower-class citizens of Ludania can speak or even understand the language of the upper-class. Even to look upon an upper-class citizen while they speak their language is punishable by death, as is understanding a language not meant for you.
Charlaina, a lower-class citizen, can understand every language and she must keep her ability a secret from everyone. Yet her special ability opens up a world that she was never meant to know about, the world of rebels out to overthrow the oppressive ruling monarchy. Charlaina meets Max, a devilishly handsome yet confusing young man who seems to see in her something special. Scared that Max will discover her secret, Charliana tries to distance herself from this mysterious person, but he is more vital to her survival than she thought.
Rebel forces eventually wage war against their queen and Charlaina unknowingly becomes a vital fighter in the battle for freedom, her gift is more useful than she ever could have suspected.
The Pledge is a thrilling and epic journey through a country ravaged by abused power. Charlaina is a brilliantly written character whose story you follow gasping. Through her eyes you witness a world of fear and division, you cheer as she fights and you moan at her losses. I was completely lost in The Pledge, only putting the book down to eat or drink, sometimes not even then!
I highly recommend this book to readers, usually I specify what type of readers but I think The Pledge can be universally enjoyed no matter what genre you prefer. This is one young adult book, for ages 13-18+ years, that can be read time and time again, treasured on your bookshelf. You’ll relate to the characters and feel deeply for them as you follow their stories, when the book ends you’ll be sad to say goodbye to them. It has action, adventure, mystery and fantasy with a hint of magic and romance, the perfect young adult novel.
You can find The Pledge here.
Guest review contributed by The Bursting Bookshelf. This blog mixes book reviews with tips for aspiring authors by a published author. She started the blog to showcase new and old authors with talent and to make the vast world of literature a little bit simpler for people searching for their next great read!