Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
"In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom..."- summary from Amazon

It took me a while to get into this book, which was a surprise to me because I found it hard to put down Derting's debut The Body Finder. I wasn't as compelled to finish this book for quite a while, but once it got going, the pages were flying. The climax is amazing and the ending was wonderful (also, supposedly there are sequels coming? I thought this was a stand-alone).

Anyway, Charlie is a fierce heroine and I liked her a lot, especially her relationship with her little sister Angelina. That was a great aspect of the novel and it's hard to find really good sibling relationships in YA books. I wasn't as invested in the romance aspect because it didn't feel fleshed out enough for me, so I hope it's expanded on in future books. I did enjoy seeing the occasional chapter from Max's or The Queen's point of view- it broke up the story nicely and it was cool to see what was going on with them.

Overall though, I might be a bit hesitant to read book 2 just because of how book 1 started and took so long to get me interested. If I were a star-giving person, I'd probably give this a 3 out of 5- it was an interesting concept, but the execution just wasn't compelling enough.

FTC: Received e-galley from S&S Galley Grab. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. The Pledge is an interesting concept for a novel which mixes fantasy into a dyspoian society. There are Queens, princes, lost royality, a rebelion, and a simple Vendor's daughter all thrown together to create a new world where language and classes separate everyone.
    I enjoyed many aspects of the story, but found myself wanting to reach into the book and strangle Charlie (the protagonist) many times.