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 female heir anyway. She seeks a proper replacement for herself even though she is near dying. Throughout Ludania language is a mark of distinction and of separation of the classes. It serves to keep everyone in their place. In the Vendor district a girl named Charlaina (Charlie) has trouble keeping a dangerous ability from being known. She can hear and understand every known language; Serf, Upper class, Military, tactile… you name it. Charlie has difficulty hiding this, particularly when she meets a young man named Max. In Max Charlie hears a language she has never heard and understands it, and he knows she does. Will this charming man be her downfall?
Derting explodes onto the Dystopian field in high style. This book is gorgeous, vivid and imaginative. Derting uses her trademark style of narrative, switching back and forth between pro and antagonist as the story progresses. In this she makes a really smart choice though: not only does she switch narrators but she also plays with First and Third person for represent Charlie and Queen Sabara respectively. This adds a flair to the telling, and renders the two characters with very distinctive, different voices. I adore alternating narrators but some authors don’t know how to pull it off. Derting does, and it makes for a superbly dynamic telling.
Beside that this story is gripping. I sat down with it today and could not put it down. This is a tremendous world that Derting has set up. As of yet I am not sure if it is the beginning of a series (everything is a trilogy now it seems) but the ending summed up everything nicely if it doesn’t turn into anything. I very much appreciated this tale from Derting. I want more of all of her worlds, but especially so here.
5 out of 5 stars.
* The Pledge releases November 15th, 2011.
– Follow the Reader –