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The Pledge
by Kimberly Derting

Overview - In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place--looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she's been hiding her whole life.  Read more...

 
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More About The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
 
 
 
Overview
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place--looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she's been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she's never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom....

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781442422018
  • ISBN-10: 1442422017
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publish Date: November 2011
  • Page Count: 323
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-17

Series: Pledge Novels

Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Dystopian
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Love & Romance

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-09-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

Derting’s chilling dystopia envisions an America ruled by monarchy, most of its cities razed, and its citizens straitjacketed in a caste system divided by language. Deviations from the limitations of one’s caste are punishable by death. Rebels threaten the authority of an aged, amoral queen, who in the opening scene murders her daughter to assume control of the younger body. That body has now reached its limits, and another host is required. Seventeen-year-old Charlie Hart doesn’t know anything about this; she is coping with totalitarianism as best she can and keeping her one secret—that she can instinctively understand the languages of every caste, even the royal dialect. Not even her best friend Brooklynn knows, but now strangers suspect her, notably Max, a beautiful, frightening man who believes Charlie could be the key to changing their society. But can Charlie trust him? Frequent perspective shifts give the narrative a certain busyness, and the absolute, unrealistic limitations on language have the artificiality of a thought experiment. But Derting (Desires of the Dead) is right on when depicting the bonds of family, friendship, and first love. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)

 
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