Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry.
Release Date: November 15th.
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.
The Pledge, though described as dystopian, almost feels somewhat like a fantasy novel with its richly developed world/society, evil queen trickery, fast-paced action and adventure and of course, a gallant love interest. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this up, but it certainly wasn't that. (A very, very good that)
The whole status and language segregation confused the heck out of me for the first few chapters. It's possible that I might've just been missing something, but I don't feel like the languages that belong to each social class were really specified and explained clearly. Luckily, it's touched on quite a few times during the last half of the novel so that I didn't leave the book still perplexed.
I love the "evil queen" feel about this book. I would've loved to see her have a much, much bigger part, but she made for a very entertaining, threatening villain. Charlie was an okay character, but I didn't completely fall in love with her, so Queen Sabara kind of stole the story for me. (Liking an evil character so much? Yes, I am very weird indeed.)
Overall, I enjoyed The Pledge. It's a massive switch-up from Derting's Body Finders novels, but the same tasteful writing that hooked me on that series is just as present in this gripping, fantasy-like adventure. If you're in the mood for something quick, riveting and romantic, I definitely recommend The Pledge!
Other reviews for The Pledge:
The Fairytale Nerd.
The Young Folks.