Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: The Offering by Kimberly Derting

The Offering by Kimberly Derting
Series: Pledge #3
Published: December 31st, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
336 pages (ARC)
Genre: Young adult dystopian
Acquired this book: From  Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review
Warning: Will likely contain spoilers if you haven't read The Pledge and The Essence
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of The Pledge || Read my review of The Essence}
True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.

Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

Derting doesn’t waste a second in beginning The Offering - it kicks off with a bang, and left me both horrified and heartbroken. That tension continues as we see Queen Charlaina still struggling to make changes in Ludania and fight for what she thinks is right, even though there’s plenty of resistance from some of her subjects. 

I grew to love Derting’s style in The Pledge and The Essence, and The Offering is no different. It was easy to connect with Charlie - she’s caring, loyal, strong, and the type of person you’d be lucky to have as a friend. She wants what’s best for everyone, even when that means making sacrifices or doing dangerous things. Between the first book and the third book, she’s had to grow up really quickly and make a lot of tough decisions. She’s trying to run a country, be a good friend/daughter/sister/girlfriend, and fight Sabara’s Essence inside her. Because so much of the book is serious and a bit heavy, it was nice to see a few moments of levity for Charlie, and her just getting to be a teenage girl, even for a minute.  

In my review of The Essence, I mentioned that I love how different this series is. It could go any way at any moment, and I loved that. There were familiar characters and new characters, along with new places, and it was hard to guess where Charlie would end up, who she would meet, and whether they would be friend or foe. There was nothing cookie cutter about this trilogy; Derting created a world that was fascinating, horrifying, gruesome, and complex.

I really missed familiar characters in this book. We didn’t get to see much of Max, Aron, Angelina, or Zafir, which was a bit disappointing since I love those characters. I know that because of the direction the book went it would have been difficult to make them ‘main’ characters the way they were in the previous two books, but I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see more of them, especially knowing this was the last story.   

I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters. I was lucky enough to read these three books within the span of a month, so I never had to wait to find out what happened next. In a way I think that made me feel closer to the characters because I got to see a lot of them in a short amount of time, and now I know this is it - no more Charlie and Max and Brooklyn and Angelina. I’m sad to see them go, but I also have a satisfied feeling because Derting did a great job of bringing the series to a close.

If you’re looking for a dystopian series that pairs action, suspense, and romance with memorable characters, a unique world, and great writing, The Pledge trilogy is a must read.

Have you read any of The Pledge trilogy? What did you think? If you've read The Offering, were you satisfied with how the trilogy concluded?

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