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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | The Pledge | Kimberly Derting
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The Pledge
by Kimberly Derting
PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books
NO. PAGES: 336
GENRE{S}: Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction
SERIES: The Pledge
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
ISBN: 1442422017
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop

The Story
The Pledge—Book Review

In the monarchial and oppressive country of Ludania, the ancient queen rules by fear and intimidation. The social classes are strictly divided by the languages they speak, and when lines of respect between them are crossed, even the smallest transgression is punishable by hanging. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has spent her life trying to hide her secret--she can understand the languages of all of the classes--which if revealed, could get her killed. One evening in an underground club, the only places young people can go to temporarily escape the draconian rules of their society, Charlie meets and is immediately drawn to Max, an enigmatic and charismatic young man who speaks a language she has never heard before. Despite their instant connection, he, and his motives, remain a mystery to her. Violence in the capitol city is escalating as resistance to the queen becomes stronger and stronger, and alongside Max, Charlie suddenly finds herself a key player in a revolution that could change everyone's lives forever.
The Scoop
The Pledge—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

The Pledge is a fast-paced dystopian read, with a fantasy fairytale twist. Lovers of the written word will enjoy the premise that language and words are the keys to power in this caste society. One language, Englaise, is common to all residents of Ludania, but otherwise each social class understands and communicates in only their own specific tongue. Crossing the language barriers is punishable by death, hence Charlie's life-long struggle to keep her secret. It is implied that the country of Ludania and the all-powerful monarchy arose after the fall of the once-democratic United States, due to corruption and greed. Revolutionaries seek to overthrow the current queen, but don't want to completely topple the monarchist society. Their goal is to do away with the caste system and reinsert freedom of choice into their lives. Young people in this book escape the strict controls on their lives at dance clubs, where some underage drinking does take place. While physical interaction between the main characters is limited to kissing, Charlie's best friend is a savvy flirt who uses her sultriness to her advantage in dealings with authority figures. There is occasional mild language (a-s, b-tch, h-ll). There is a violent confrontation at the climax of the story that will leave readers wanting more of Charlie's story, and eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, The Essesnce. With its touch of magic and royalty, The Pledge would be a good crossover book for fantasy fans who are interested in testing the waters of dystopia.
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The Pledge—Book Review

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