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.
Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins), THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster), and THE TAKING trilogy (coming Summer 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy…a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.
The Offering by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To say The Offering, The third and final book in Derting’s The Pledge series, starts off with a bang would be an understatement. It has us jumping in shortly after we left off with book 2. Charlie is trying to make advances and changes to help Ludania and restore the communications that have long since been abandoned due to Sabara’s desire to keep the country secluded. Xander and Nico have made their way to Astonia in order to foster peace with the Queen of Astonia. And even though Sabara is still present, Charlie has become better at ignoring her and pushing her to the background.
When peace talks with Elena, Queen of Astonia, go downhill, Charlie isn’t prepared for the brutal message she gets letting her know that peace will not happen. Charlie of course is summoned to Astonia… her only option to save Ludania and her people is to sacrifice herself, but it’s a trap set by someone she isn’t expecting… someone who will do anything they can to get what they want.
I thought this was a wonderful wrap up to a good dystopian series. I absolutely loved book 1 of this and book 2, while it wasn’t perfect and I had some issues, was still enjoyable. In book 3 we definitely see major growth on the part of Charlie’s character as well as some of the others in Ludania.
I will say that this book definitely has slower pacing to match book 2, it felt at times that very little was happening. Which of course isn’t true, but compared to the action of book 1 this is definitely lacking in that department. Another thing… ugh I was so disappointed in that we see very little of Max and Charlie together. I get it… I really do. I understand that they can’t always be together, but I so so so wanted more than the few interactions and kisses that we got. It was a disappointment, especially because I had the same issues with book 2. It seemed that for as much a part of the story in book 1 that Max was, he became basically a secondary character in these last two books.
But let’s talk about the good – From the first pages of book 3 I couldn’t help but be drawn into Queen Charlaina’s story again. One of the things I really love is the originality of this plot. While some of the key elements are similar to other stories, the overall arc of the story is unique and entertaining.
The characters were also really well done, and not just Charlie and Max… I’m also thinking of Xander, Nico, Sabara, Brooklyn, Xander, Aron and Eden. We get multiple points of view in The Offering which really helped in expanding the story for me, from just what was happening for Charlie. It also connected me a bit more to some characters that I wouldn’t typically have cared as much about.
Once again, Derting builds some wonderful relationships between the characters. The sisterhood that develops between Eden, Charlie and Brook was wonderful to see, and even though they don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything, they absolutely have each other’s backs and that was wonderful to see.
The one thing that I ultimately struggled with was that I didn’t get that emotional connection to Charlie that I needed to make this a five-star read. In truth, I cared more about the secondary characters in this story than I did about Charlie and what was going on with her.
Overall, this was a great read, and if you’re looking for an original plot, great writing and lots of characters that you’ll come to care about, then definitely pick up this series. I’m glad I read it, and as a full series I would give this 4 stars.
Thank you to the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.