Shannon's Reviews > The Pledge

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
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Feb 02, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 24 to 29, 2012

4.5 stars.

I really enjoyed this! Derting puts a new spin on the typical dystopian concept. The country of Ludania is ruled by a monarchy, the queen resulting from the firstborn female child of a royal bloodline. The current ruler is old and looking to find a rightful heir since all descendants within her castle walls are male, and therefore unsuitable for the throne. There are also other rulers who think her unsuitable and are looking to take over her kingdom...

The beauty of this dystopian is that the society classes are kept segregated by language. No one speaks or understands the language of the classes above his own (other than the one common tongue, Englaise). Our 17-year-old protagonist, Charlaina, is born of the vendor (middle) class and has the unique ability to understand the languages of all classes. This ability is not only unheard of, but also punishable by death should the queen find out. Cue the downward spiral when Charlaina meets a boy (SHOCK!) who threatens the veil of secrecy she has perfected.

Charlaina is the key to unraveling the secrets within the society, within the monarchy, within her family, the past and future. The world building was great and can only be enhanced by the future books. While the plot twists were not exactly surprises, the journey to get there was still very entertaining. The pace was perfect - holding back and building in just the right places. My one complaint is the ending... After feeling so invested in these characters and their story, I felt it was a bit rushed and could've been more fleshed out. But even that is minor. I appreciate that Derting crafted a complete story without a huge cliffhanger leading into the next book. Recommended for those that enjoy dystopian. I'm really looking forward to where Derting takes these characters in the future.
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