Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

From Hicklebee’s 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….

I was very much looking forward to The Pledge. The idea of a fantasy with dystopic vibes based on an evil monarchy had my geek senses tingling. Derting – whose work I have appreciated in the past – has completely outdone herself with this very different and unique story.

As many of you know, my family is multi cultural, my husband and his family speak Dutch and I do not. So when that side of my family is here I am left out of the conversation quite a bit. It is something you really never get used to and it helped me connect with Charlie. Derting uses language as a caste system. The servants speak one language and that is it. Merchant class – like Charlie and her family – speak the servant language and a merchant language. The privileged speak both those and have their own fancy language as well that no one below them can understand. The problem is, Charlie has a very dangerous gift. She can understand all languages – even those she isn’t allowed to understand.

When Charlie hears, and understands, a language she has never heard spoken before she knows her life is about to change. War is coming, and Charlie may be the key to winning. Will Charlie be a beacon for the resistance or Royals? The crown prince is the most interesting boy she has ever met.

Charlie is pulled in so many different directions, she fears for her family, realizes her baby sister is also gifted and in danger from the crown. The Queen is old and dying slowly – she needs a new heir for only a queen can rule. Boy children are disregarded completely.

I love the feministic views in the book, the writing and heck who doesn’t want to be a queen? I do, and I would go dark side if need be.

The Pledge is a perfect blending of fantasy and dystopia. I can’t wait for book two! The book comes out tomorrow! Go grab it and tell me what you think.

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