Book Review: The Offering

The Offering (The Pledge #3)
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian

There is no doubt about it; this series just isn’t as good as The Body Finder series, also by Kimberly Derting. It is set on a larger scale, deals with the strife of Queens, and still has romance, but I just didn’t feel the passions of the characters in the same way. None of them ever seemed quite as real as Violet and Jay did.

The Offering is the third and final book in the Pledge series, and it sees Charlie, Queen of Ludania, struggling against the essence of the old Queen Sabara which lurks deep within her body, polluting her soul and whispering evil notions to her. There is nothing more that each would like than to rid themselves of the other; Sabara would like the essence of Charlie to give up an vacate the property, and Charlie just wants her body back. When the Queen of a neighbouring country offers her a potential solution, Charlie jumps at the chance. But this solution is wrapped around the threat of war, and it is delivered in a very grisly fashion.

Rather than talk it out with her advisors, Charlie decides to head off into the dead of night to travel on her own to see Queen Elena. Luckily she ends up being escorted by someone with actual sense, so it doesn’t go too pear shaped. I have issues with this who storyline because it was just so selfish. Charlie talks about wanting what is best for her country, but really doesn’t do that for much of the series at all. I am thankful that she finally learns how to be a true Queen through this book, and I came away feeling that she had finally grown up. She comes perilously close to just giving up though, and the price of her new found maturity is a dear friend.

I found the scenes depicting the horror of war to be quite gruesome, and for that reason, pretty involving. They were some of the best writing in the book, I think. It was horrible, innocents did die, and it brought the action into sharper focus. I think that for this reason alone, the second half of the book was significantly better than the first half, which seemed a little meandering. I liked the horrific costumes of Elena’s barbaric troops, and I also LOVED her sister, Sage’s, response to them at the end of the books. I can’t give away more than that, but she was a character that was much needed and enjoyed.

I don’t know if I would particularly recommend this series to someone new to Derting; I think I’d probably tell them to head on over to The Body Finder, as I think that someone reading these books first may not necessarily want to read more by the same author, which is a bit of a shame. Overall, this was mildly entertaining for the first half, and reasonably engaging for the second half. I’m not sorry the series is complete, I’m satisfied that I have finished it.

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.