Author: Kimberly Derting
Release: December 31st 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopia, YA
#3 in the Pledge trilogy
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.
First, I'd like to thank Amazon for sending me my copy a week prior to its actual release, it's much appreciated.
Second: Damn. I'll admit, this conclusion isn't quite as strong as its predecessors, but I still liked it very much.
There were some instances where I could have strangled Kimberly Derting, or once even Charlie, for inflicting this upon me, but since none of those instances really brought more harm than good, I can forgive that. Everything went back to good and normal afterwards, so... I'm not too mad. However, the one fact that I am still seething over, which might be very shallow and stuff, but — I got deprived of my OTP. Again. Max and Charlie didn't have much time during The Essence, but they get separated again in this installment. I was angry at that. So angry. But I guess since their love was kind of insta-love in the beginning, Derting felt like she had to make up for it. Sigh.
Anyhow, can I just say... the characters... I love them all so much. How awesome can a cast of characters even be? Charlie was so extremely badass in this novel, I just... wow. Not only was she badass, but she really could kill if it was necessary and didn't think herself too pure or above killing for her own safety. No, none of those flimsy excuses most heroines have for not slitting people's throats, and I admired that about Charlie. Sure, she didn't relish having blood on her hands, but it didn't stop her either. This girl did what she had to to succeed and I loved her for it. And the other characters were of course awesome too, Brook, Max, and especially Sage. This book has kickass females en masse, it's like a feminist heaven.
And can I just say I had tears in my eyes when Brook and Charlie, and Angelina and Charlie finally reconcile? I was so looking forward to see how Derting would mend their broken relationships, and I am fully satisfied. And I really died of joy at that ending, it was everything I could have wished for. It was such a satisfying and good ending, maybe a bit too happy, yeah, but still. I liked it.
Plot was also really intense, I seriously had to force myself not to skip all the descriptions — which were beautiful and vivid, by the way — just so I could finally know how it all came together. Because we actively follow three plot lines and one passively during the course of the novel and they all intertwine in some way or another in the end and I was so giddy to finally come to that point and see how it'll go. It was agony and at the same time a thrilling experience. Another thing well done.
Anything else? Hm no I don't think. Writing was so-so, sometimes there were an awful lot of repetitions, but all in all, I do enjoy Derting's writing style a lot. I'm sad to see this series to an end, since I've really come to see it as one of my, well, not favorites exactly, but those that I still love enormously. I think I'll definitely get back to this series and re-read it when I have the time, the characters, the internal struggles, relationships and the actions are simply so engaging, I can't help but hold the series in high regard. And forever will.