I was part of a blog tour in which I was supposed to review The Essence (book 2 in the The Pledge series by Kimberly Derting) and make a playlist to go with the novel, but I never received a copy of the book (actually, most of the bloggers that were part of the blog tour didn't get their copy either).
I debated what to post instead and decided on a series spotlight with quotes I like from the novels (that I got from Goodreads). Here we go...
Book 1 is called The Pledge.
In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
“Curiosity is an addictive drug.” -Kimberly Derting, The Pledge
“Words held meaning, but voices held emotion.” -Kimberly Derting, The Pledge
“He leaned in then and kissed me again, sweet and soft and tender, silencing my arguments and stealing my breath, making me wonder how one simple gesture could be so tragically lovely.” -Kimberly Derting, The Pledge
Book 2 is called The Essence.
At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.
Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.
As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.
“He approached respectfully, cautiously. Warily. She'd always been capricious, his queen. But of late, she was nothing less than unpredictable.” -Kimberly Derting, The Essence
“Warriors do not cry, I admonished myself silently.” -Kimberly Derting, The Essence
“To anyone else, the carvings would appear to be gibberish. To me, the girl who could understand all languages, they were poetic: Danii, a weapon forged of steel and blood.” -Kimberly Derting, The Essence
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