Title: The Pledge (The Pledge #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Summary: In the country of Ludania, what language you speak determines what class you are in, and acknowledging a language not your own is punishable by death. Charlie is a member of the vendor class and speaks Parshon, but she has always had the ability to understand all the languages spoken around her. This is a secret she guards closely, because if revealed, this ability could lead to her death.
Charlie's world is turned upside down when she meets the mysterious and handsome boy named Max, who speaks a language she's never heard before. This begins a journey of finding out who Max really is, and as a consequence, finding out just who she really is. Charlie must determine if she can really trust Max and just what his true intentions toward her are.
My Thoughts: I was a little leery of starting this book because I didn't particularly enjoy Kimberly Derting's other YA book, The Body Finder. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that except for the author who wrote it, The Body Finder and The Pledge are two completely different books. I found The Pledge to be a much more enjoyable book. The world presented was very interesting. It's sort of a dystopian future setting, where the cities we recognize today have been abolished and governments have been wiped out.
The country of Ludania is ruled by a monarchy, or more particularly a queen that will not even let death strip her of power. I would have loved more backstory on the Revolution of the Sovereigns. Being American, it was such an interesting and strange idea why people would want to go from a democracy back to a strict monarchy.
The separation of class according to language was rather interesting too. It was kind of a throwback to the Tower of Babel. If no one is capable of understanding the other, it makes it hard to plot how to build a tower to Heaven, or in the book's case, how to overthrow a bloodthirsty queen.
I really enjoyed the characters too. None of them were amazing, but they were all solid and believable in their own way. Although, I do believe Aron should have gotten a bigger role. He seemed like such a nice, stand-up guy who wouldn't rat on his friends, even when he was tortured. I don't know his role in the next book, but Aron deserves more respect and attention.
One problem I did have with the story was that it felt a little rushed. All the action seemed to happen at once, and for all the build-up, the ending seemed rather abrupt.
I really enjoyed Kimberly Derting's world of Ludania. It had many twists and surprises, a really interesting world, and some excitement of what is to happen next. This is a solid dystopian story that is worth the read.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
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