Author: Kimberly Derting
Date of Publication: November 15, 2011
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: With frequent Revolutionary attacks and an aging queen, the country of Ludania is in trouble. In a land where class is divided by language, only one girl can bridge the gap between rich and poor. Charlie speaks all languages and understands languages she's never heard before. Her talent is grounds for immediate execution, since looking at someone in the eye who is not speaking your language is against the law. When she meets Max in one of Ludania's underground clubs she finds there is more to her talent than meets the eye and that the current queen wants Charlie. The Queen will do anything to force Charlie to obey her, including taking the lives of those she loves the most.
The Pledge starts off a bit confusing, with minimal information about different classes and the languages they speak. However it was easy to catch on and soon I found myself engrossed in this novel. Derting manages to take an old story, a simple girl finding she is of royal heritage, and make it something completely new. Full of plot twists that I never saw coming and a wonderful story line Derting creates a fascinating world.
Charlie is a very real character, she's strong but not in a way that makes her seem uncaring. Charlie is willing to do anything for her little sister Angelina and isn't afraid of what she has to do to keep her safe. Most of the characters have a lot of depth, all of them having secrets that aren't revealed until the very end. The alternating points of view between the Queen, Max, Charlie, and occasionally other characters add layers to the story and hint at the events to come.
The only complaint I have about this book is the lack of information. Derting often leaves readers hanging when it comes to the cause of an event, sometimes this works but sometimes it doesn't. Such as when Charlie received a note from Max, Charlie goes on for several pages about the note before we actually find out what the note said. However, this is a rather minor detail that happens only occasionally and other than being slightly annoying does not make the book any less enjoyable.
Full of plot twists, developed characters, a cute romance, a fascinating story line, as well as addressing the issues of social class, language, and forms of government; The Pledge is definitely a book I wouldn't miss. I really enjoyed this novel, the cliff hanger ending leaving it open for a sequel that I am eagerly anticipating.