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The Pledge

(The Pledge #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  28,516 ratings  ·  2,511 reviews
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life tryi ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry (first published October 1st 2011)
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Lena Reynolds There isn't anything more than kissing, but I'm not sure about the other books.…moreThere isn't anything more than kissing, but I'm not sure about the other books.(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  28,516 ratings  ·  2,511 reviews

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Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook
In Kimberly Derting's The pledge, we embark on a fairy-tale like story set in a dystopian future where language dictates your class standing. I was first attracted to this book by it's intriguing premise and original setting. Unfortunately, I found myself unable to connect to the characters nor was I very invested in the story.

As a reader, I'm very character oriented. I feel the need to be able to relate to the characters. Feel their emotions, understand their decisions and connect with their pe
Kimberly Derting's The Pledge has a lot going for it: it has an interesting and original concept, fascinating (albeit mostly lacking) world-building, great writing that allows the novel to flow easily and makes for a quick read, some interesting relationship dynamics, and an explosive ending making way for an interesting sequel. However, that being said, The Pledge also has a lot that is not going for it, most prominently the characterization, the predictability of the plot, and, last but certai ...more
Jennifer Armentrout
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Man, only 30 some pages in, and it's so good. Have agent edits to do, but I wanna read! ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
The Pledge is Kimberly Derting’s latest book. It’s a dystopia. Democracy has fallen. Nations are ruled by matrilineal queens. In Charlaina’s society citizens are divided and stratified by language. Englaise is the common language spoken by all classes. Each class has their own language as well, so for example the vendor class speaks Pashon. Charlaina, Charlie for short, can understand every language, even though it is against the law. One is not supposed to acknowledge or look up when another sp ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People that like monotonous stuff.
This had so much potential. Kimberly Derting had the right idea, came up with some nice details to her dystopian society, she had everything she needed to make a great story. And then it all went downhill in this jumble of cliches and boring storytelling that came together in one snooze festival in which you're left as that one bored person wondering what the hell are you going to eat for dinner tonight since you haven't gone grocery shopping ever since Jesus died the second time.

So the story
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think this was a great start to a promising series. I really enjoyed it!

Seventeen-year old Charlaina, Charlie, lives in the kingdom of Ludania ruled by cruel and ancient Queen Sabara. Her subjects are divided by classes, languages, and strict rules that govern them. A person can be put to death for small infractions, so all must be careful. The country is currently in turmoil because there is a war going on. There are revolutionaries that have risen up to change the oppressive conditions. Char
I wasn't all that impressed with THE BODY FINDER, and I was pretty hesitant when THE PLEDGE showed up on my doorstep. I wasn't sure Kimberly Derting deserved another chance. If I didn't like her first novel, what were the odds I'd like the first book in a totally different genre? How big were the chances I'd find the experience of reading her third novel like I did her first and give up on her in general? Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I'm glad I did end up giving it a chance, because it wasn ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First off, tell me the this cover is not gorgeous!! I love it :)

Second, I need to tell you how cool I think this story idea is! The plot revolves around this world (in the future) where humans have been forced to speak only one language - the language of their class. The servants speak one language, while the vendors speak another, and royalty another, and so on. The point being, that if you can't speak another language, you are stuck in your class forever, and more importantly, humans will neve
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
The more YA books I see being released amidst the continuing dystopia trend (a fad that seems to have a lot more mileage than I originally anticipated, although the sales figures are a more mixed bag), the more I find myself questioning what makes a book dystopian. With “The Body Finder” author Kimberly Derting's latest, the first in a planned trilogy, I hesitate to call it, for lack of a better term, pure dystopian since it mixes more fantastical elements into the story. This discussion aside, ...more

Well, I read that really fast. I started The Pledge by Kimberly Derting late last night/early this morning and I just finished it. Before you ask, yes I do sleep. Quite well, actually.

The Pledge marks a departure for Derting into the world of Dystopic Fantasy. Having been a fan of her Body Finder series I was very eager to get a look at her newest work. I'm not disappointed, far from it. Derting has cemented a place on my auto buy list of authors.

The aging Queen of Ludania has no heir - no femal
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have been hesitant to read The Pledge because I have not read that many great reviews, but when I found it in audio, I just had to give it a try, and i am SO GLAD I did because this book was incredible! The light dystopian element, the historical themes, the revolutionary plots. Every single minute of listening to this audio kept me on the edge! I would stay a couple of minutes in the car after I parked because I just didn't want to leave this world. In the end I ended up getting the ebook and ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011
Another book with a very interesting premise. Language being the boundary that separates one social class from another. I liked the idea and I loved the world building. The thing that spoiled the book for me is the extremely cliched writing. This book could have been so much better had the author chosen not to employ dialogue that reads like it came waltzing straight out of a sappy romance movie. I also saw a lot of Mary Sue-ish development from the main character and well...I like my heroines f ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan F
When I read Derting's The Body Finder, I was not impressed. After reading the start of her second series....I am still not impressed.

The marketing is all there. Gorgeous cover, creative dystopian premise, the promise of romance....All of this is very in right now. Unfortunately.

The weakest part of The Pledge was the world-building. As a dystopian, it was very weak. There is no reason for this world, no how, no why. Supposedly, it was set sometime in the future, as it alludes to current cities,
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-galley
I was curious about what type of world Charlie's would be. It started out really good too: with Queen Sabara transferrring her power. It's the same power that got me more curious. Charlie's world is a more different since that it's language that kept the people apart. I wanted to know more of Queen Sabara and her power; I wanted to know how their world worked. Sadly a good deal of THE PLEDGE deals with Charlie and Max' romance~ the same romance that developed too quickly. In fact a lot of this w ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 2.5

The insta-love is strong with this one.
Donna {Book Passion For Life}
Intriguing and suspenseful, The Pledge is a fantastic story woven behind a realistic fantasy/dystopia setting.

Charliana lives in a world that is divided by the language they speak and judged by status – the lower and higher class. If the lower class ever looks a member of the higher class in the eye while speaking their own language, the penalty for this is death. As Charliana and her family try to keep under the radar and work to the best of their ability to help her families restaurant stay af
Avy  (Book Looney) ❄️

Well. To start off on an honest note, I have to admit that this book was a tad slow in the beginning. I persevered though and it totally paid off!! For me, The Pledge was a perfect mix of dystopian and medieval. The fact that it's set in a futuristic setting but also implements other elements, like having queens and not really using technology, really sucked me in. Being obsessed with Medieval times myself (don't ask me why cause I'm not even sure why) I loved the whole queen an
Nov 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 2011
Charlaina "Charlie" Hart is seventeen and a member of the Vendor class, the class of merchants. Her parents have a restaurant, she attends a school for vendor children, and her friends are the children of other vendors. As a member of this class, she's only allowed to speak two languages: parshon, the language of her class, and Englaise, the universal language and language of the Serving class, the lowest class in Ludania. But Charlie has a unique and very secret gift: she can understand all lan ...more
Liza Koppens
Mar 17, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the cover and the discription of the cover. I was looking for some more books for my tbr list and this book kept popping in my mind.

The characters felt a bit flat. I didn't care for the MC, her friends or what she went trough. I had a hard time following the story and more than once i had to stop reading. Turn the page back and read again becouse it felt like I missed a part.
Three pages being vague about what a letter to the MC said (who read it when we where in her head, and only I as
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Set in a post-apocalyptic society--in what I can only assume used to be the United States--17 year old Charlie has a secret. Unlike everyone else in her class, or in any other class, she understands other languages--a sin punishable by death if discovered. It's a secret so important, she hides it from everyone, including her two closest friends, only to be discovered by someone else who could be more dangerous that she'd like to admit.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's the fir
I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should. I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment. My heart stopped.

THE PLEDGE was one of the best dystopian books I have read this year. I didn't expect to fall madly in love with Max, the book. But I was unable to put the book down until I was flipping to the very la
I've never read The Body Finder and I don't have any intention to do it. When I realized that The Pledge was from the same author, that didn't discourage me to read it because the plot premise sounded interesting.

One thing needs to be clear: This is not dystopian and shouldn't be considered as such.

Do I see paranormal powers in a distant future? Eeeh, I don't think so. Division of people by the language they speak? Possibly.
This is plain fantasy, period.

And also, monarchy in the distant future i
I was seriously contemplating giving this one star. The Pledge had an interesting premise, but it utterly failed.

The sole reason I didn't give this one star was Xander and Brooklynn. They were definitely the most interesting characters (far more so than Max and Charlie) and if the story was written from one of their perspective, it would have been so much more fun to read.

I really didn't like Charlie. Something about her rubbed me the wrong way. But I hated Max a hundred times more than Charlie.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-read, reread, trash

I read this book like 8-10 years ago or something and I freaking adored it so much. It was like the BEST BOOK EVER. HOW WAS I SO WRONG!?

This book really annoyed me. Like the plot was super choppy and the characters were quite ridiculous. Especially Charlaina and Brooklynn. Brooklynn's defining quality was that she was "boy crazy". I'm not even kidding, it says exactly that. She was described this way so many freaking times that I wanted to hit something. Then, to make ma
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Captivating. Moving. Engaging. This is a really good dystopian world. However, I was a bit surprised to know that it has fantasy in it. It reminds me somehow of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, they both have the same heroine, hero and villain qualities.

This book is hard to review without spilling some spoilers. Ugh. It has all a dystopian world can have - war, resistance, ruler, and danger. It's one dangerous world. But I love everything about it. I can't believe how I easily became attached with all t
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Charliana can read, hear and speak other languages. All of them. Including those she shouldn't know. But when a mysterious Max appears, will she be exposed for who she really is?

This book drags on, and on, and on. It's at such a slow pace, it's redonculous. And the plot. Oh geeze, the plot is stupid. I can't believe I gave this book my time. Charliana, why are thou so annoying?

The only thing I liked was that it was dystopia and YA, but I didn't enjoy it.
Colleen Houck
Another fun and interesting series by Kimberly Derting! The different languages and the rules regarding them was such a new idea. Loved Charlie and Max. As usual the characters are very well developed. I feel like I know them well enough to recognize them on the street if they appeared. =) On to the next book in the series.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it

Three Stars The Pledge is a fresh introduction to Kimberly Derting's new, dystopian series.

A cheer squeals from the mob squeezed around the main square of Ludania. A wave of bodies clawing and pushing to peer at the imminent execution. In Ludania, Queen Sabara rules the land with an indomitable, iron fist. The slightest infraction, such as failure to divert your eyes when addressed by someone of a higher class, will earn you a one way trip to the gallows. It is a land organized into a caste syst
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This was a really interesting premise for a dystopian book, and I loved it! Charlie lives in a society separated by languages. Each class has it's own language, and lower classes are not permitted to to speak languages of the higher classes - they aren't even supposed to understand them. Charlie has a secret though...she can understand all languages, and she doesn't know how or why.

As her country is in the midst of an uprising, she meets mysterious Max, who speaks a language she's never heard b
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Kimberly is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE, and THE TAKING trilogies. She is also the co-author of the popular "Loves Science" picture book series, featuring our favorite science-loving superstars Cece, Libby, and Vivi!

Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.


Other books in the series

The Pledge (3 books)
  • The Essence (The Pledge, #2)
  • The Offering (The Pledge, #3)

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