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2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

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2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Offering a Satisfying End to An Entertaining Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for The Offering, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier books in the Pledge trilogy.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

As queen of Ludania, Charlaina di Heyse—"Charlie" to her friends—has had her share of ups and downs.  She's instituted big changes in her battered country, advances that, she hopes, will improve everything from education to communication.  Not all of her subjects approve of this "progress," however.  Rebel groups are having their say—loudly and violently.  Then, there's the gruesome message Charlie receives from the Queen of Astonia.  The monarch's offer, as distasteful as it is, may be the only thing that can stave off war.  Charlie will do anything to save her country from a bloody invasion, but what if it means sacrificing everything—and everyone—she holds dear?

With Sabara's voice needling Charlie from within, her essence growing ever stronger, Charlie's desperate to be rid of the not-quite-dead queen.  But, is she desperate enough to cast the evil inside her into someone else?  Even if it means preserving Ludania?  Torn between saving herself and the country she loves, Charlie must make the ultimate choice, possibly the ultimate sacrifice.  Is she strong enough to withstand Sabara's influence, once and for all?  Or will she cave, unleashing an ancient evil back into the land she's sworn to rebuild?  With the safety of Max, Brook, Aron, Angelina and all of her other family members and friends riding on her decisions, Charlie can't afford to choose the wrong path.  But, with Sabara's voice echoing so loudly in her head, how will she find the right one?  

The Offering, the exciting conclusion to Kimberly Derting's Pledge series, is as intense and action-packed as its predecessors.  I whipped through it, anxious to see what would happen to Charlie & Co.  The ending of the tale didn't surprise me a bit—it was satisfying, if not amazing or mind-blowing.  Which is fine.  What I expected, you know.  The series as a whole disappointed me a tad, as I saw some intriguing sparks of originality in The Pledge that I hoped would carry through the whole trilogy and ... just didn't, really.  I also wanted better character development, especially among the men, whom I had trouble telling apart.  Overall, though, I enjoyed the series.  It's not my favorite YA dystopian, not by a long shot, but the books were entertaining enough to keep me reading.  And, you know, that's actually saying quite a lot :)

(Readalikes:  The Pledge and The Essence by Kimberly Derting)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for language (no F-bombs), violence, and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Offering from the generous folks at Simon & Schuster through those at I Am A Reader Not A Writer blog tours.  Thank you!
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The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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