by Kimberly Derting
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.
My Thoughts (Interview below!):
I remember Charlie. It's comfy climbing inside her character. I did not expect to slide right back in her character so easily when I picked up The Offering. It was like I had never left.
The tension between Charlie and Sabara - the old, very old-old-old & powerful queen - has grown and is more defined. The moment that Charlie tries to find a quiet place to be by herself somewhere in the castle and finds out that it's not "real"? I ached for her. The moment she wants to be with her true love but stops to not give any way to Sabara? Ache. I could FEEL her desperation to sacrifice everything she has, if it could possibly work, to save her kingdom and her life and the lives of those around her.
Doesn't the cover scream all that?!
When Charlie acts on her desperation, I felt the reaction of those who love her, that throwing-up-of-hands, counter reaction of desperation. I could see the impossibility of her mission. What I could not see was what Charlie was planning. She has a confidence in herself that has grown through constant inner battles. She's grown used to having an opinion that affects the lives of everyone around her, not like Sabara, although she does get some value of experience, but like someone who is new to power and watches the affects of every decision she makes as the ripples continue, rocking her world long after every movement she makes. In shock.
It is a very humbling perspective.
I love the other characters. I love the battle of two strong women who are so different in Brook and Eden. So many powerful women! Yay! I love the community of children and Charlie's peek into other corners of her land that she didn't know about. The world is huge and she is an important piece, but just a piece.
The world continues to be dark and bleak. This is a hard world to try to live in and the struggle to accomplish something good is exhausting. I think this is what brings my rating down a little - because I love the writing. I love the character development, every character in this story - they are each vibrant and fresh and alive. But the poor world! It is beaten down with Sabara's selfishness and the warring queens of neighboring kingdoms. The reference to torture... wow, totally ripped something right out of my fragile hope for this story.
The story rises up out of the war-torn landscape, but the destruction is wide and horrible. Not too far in the story, I felt that victory, if possible, would not be the fluffy-cloud-skippy-cupcake sort of victory, but rather the set-broken-bones-and-thank-God-you're-alive sort of victory. IF. You'll have to read the story to see how it ends. If you read The Pledge and/or The Essence, you MUST read The Offering. MUST. MUUUUUSSSSST. Because of the end. (It's awesome!!!)
If you're considering this series, enter with confidence. Kimberly Derting weaves an unpredictable story with skill. If you're looking for a field of daisies... um... this field has been blown to bits, but it's deep and bittersweet and worth savoring.
4.5 Stars for me. It'd be 5, but once having survived, I'll take what I've gained and be on my way. This is a series for the library, though. The story lingers long after the cover is closed and it needs to live close where it's safe and can rest. :-)
Wow. I'm back in the world writing the review!! If I can wake up from being Charlie...
Please welcome Kimberly Derting to Colorimetry!!
Where did the idea for queen Sabara come from?!
I didn’t have any great inspiration for Sabara, I just sat down and started writing her. I wanted her to be ruthless—not just in what she wanted personally, but what she was willing to do to keep her “rules” in check and her place on the throne. But I also wanted to show that she hadn’t always been bad, which is why I revealed her history, and how she started using her power accidentally (taking her sister’s Essence by mistake), and then how she learned to use it to her advantage.
Oh... wow. Well, the effect is that the woman is that much creepier for being real!!
Do you have a favorite scene in The Offering?
If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be the scene where Charlie, Brook, and Eden meet Caspar and his followers in the woods when they first reach his camp. I had a great time writing the descriptions of the camp itself, the characters who live there, and the relationships between them all!
Ha!! Yes! That entire place is so ALIVE! I honestly felt bad when Charlie feels the need to "fix" things. I love it.
What are you writing next? Where are you writing it? :-)
I’m working on the second book in The Taking trilogy—the first book comes out April 29th, 2014. It’s about a girl who wakes up after what she thinks is one night, only to realize that five years have passed and everyone she loves has moved on without her...yet she hasn’t aged a day.
I write in our spare-bedroom-turned-writer-cave, even though we have this really nice office off our bedroom, which my husband has offered to trade me several times. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve developed a bond with my daughter’s hamster, Carmel, who shares my office with me.
How fun!!! I can't wait to read the book. It sounds like the hamster is doing a good job. Lol.
Kimberly, thank you for stopping by for the interview!! I was honored to read your book on Kathy's tour. Thank you, Kathy! And I'm quite jealous of my review copy. :-)
Author Kimberly Derting
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