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The Essence: A Pledge Novel (The Pledge Trilogy) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Januar 2013

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"Readers who enjoyed the first book... will love following Charlaina’s growth from a vendor girl to a queen...[This book] will intrigue readers with a taste for dramatic dystopian romance." (VOYA)

"Defeating evil queen Sabara at the conclusion of The Pledge (2011) was only the beginning for Charlie, now Queen Charlaina of Ludania. Derting’s follow-up casts Charlie in an untenable circumstance that only her inner strength can defeat." (Booklist Online) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Kimberly Derting is the author of The Pledge series and the Body Finder series. She lives in Washington State. Visit her at

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A Fantastic Sequel to an Exciting Series! 2. Januar 2013
Von Stephanie Ward - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
4.5 Stars!

'The Essence' is the second book in the young adult dystopian/fantasy Pledge series. It continues to follow our heroine Charlie, who has now taken over as the new queen of Ludania and is attempting to make things right in her country. Along with making formal appearances to her people, Charlie must attend a summit with all the queens of nearby countries to barter for resources and trade. But there are secrets that Charlie is hiding - most importantly that Queen Sabara's Essence still resides inside of her and is gaining strength daily. On top of everything else, Charlie's life is put in serious danger as they discover a traitor is amongst them and is intent on assassinating the new queen.

'The Essence' picks up nicely where the first book in the series left off. We see Charlie adjusting to her new role of queen, although it's obvious she's having some troubles. Her character is very vulnerable and flawed, which helps to endear her to the reader and makes it easy to relate to her and her struggles. We also get to see a lot of character growth and maturity happen with Charlie throughout this novel. The other characters from the first book are back and we definitely see changes and growth in them as well. The romance between Charlie and Max is just as steamy and swoon-worthy, although it's a bit deeper and more complicated in this book. Confusing things even more is the entrance of another man in Charlie's life, who effectively makes a weird love triangle and complicates things further. The plot is just as action filled and fast paced as the first book, with tons of adventure and mystery thrown in as Charlie and her friends and family try to stay safe and figure out who is trying to kill Charlie. The writing was very well done and the descriptions made me feel like I was right there with the characters. Parts of the book didn't seem to fit right, but I can't seem to put my finger on what it was that bugged me about it. It just didn't seem to flow as well as the first book in some places - but that was easily overlooked with all the other great things happening. Overall, this is a great second book in the series and I can't wait to read the next installment to see what will happen next!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Unique Dystopian Fantasy 19. März 2013
Von SciFiChick - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Charlie is still the same humble girl from before she was queen. But now she battles the malevolent former queen from inside her own head. This is like multiple personality disorder, but where both personalities are aware of each other. The rising unrest within her own country must take a backseat when Charlie decides to join the summit of the neighboring realms. Then, on the way to summit it becomes clear that there is a traitor in their midst. Charlie is completely out of her element surrounded by the other queens, but because of her innocence and humility, she still seems to be welcomed. And suddenly Charlie's relationship with Max becomes complicated when she begins to feel a pull towards someone she has just met.

This is an absorbing and moving sequel to last year's The Pledge. Derting weaves a complex plot with engaging characters. Full of suspense, intrigue, drama, and a bit of romance - The Essence is a fantastic novel that is nearly impossible to put down. Just as enjoyable as the first, this sequel builds to an exciting conclusion that left me pining for the next (and final) installment in this unique dystopian fantasy trilogy.
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Even better than The Pledge! 3. Januar 2013
Von Black Heart Reviews (formerly GingerRead) - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In the sequel to The Pledge, we find the newly queened Charlie still struggling with the soul of her predecessor. She can't shake her, dreaming of the old queen's past life. And this is just the smallest of her problems, it seems at first.

Citizens are rising against her rule and the changes she is so determined to make. The Queens of all other nations expect her at a summit where she will no nothing of politic and protocol, she is expected to learn things she has no desire to and quell things she has every desire to keep. Her life is not what it was and she must forge a new one for herself with or without the Essence buried inside her.

All the aspects that I loved in The Pledge return full force in The Essence. The world is wonderfully fantastical and as the story moved outside of Ludania it became more so. There is a glamor to this part of the story where The Pledge was grittier. I loved the drama of it.

There is the introduction of a handful of new characters, many I adored and hope to learn more of in round three. It is so hard to know who can be trusted in this epic tale of murder and betrayal that I constantly found myself debating every word spoken by some of these newcomers.

It's one of these newcomers that will bring the presence of the old queen to the forefront of Charlie's problems. What he and Sabara will kindle inside of Charlie is a power and longing that will change everything in her world including her carefully protected and most needed relationships.

The twists and turns and action of The Essence I found more enjoyable than in the Pledge, which seemed to move at a slower pace. However, one of the things I adored in the first book was hardly present in this one. Max. Max has a much smaller role and I missed him. But I am a bit of a sap for a good love story. Don't misunderstand, there is still a love story. Two rather, but it isn't Max and Charlies that takes the center stage here. Though I found each of them endearing in their own right, I craved more of what had already developed.

For that I say, "kudos, Ms. Derting". For I will anxiously be counting the days for more of these characters!
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A Fantastic, Must Read Sequel! 4. Januar 2013
Von Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I fell in love with this enticing dystopian/fantasy world with The Pledge. I loved that book, and I've been eager ever since I finished it to read The Essence. This book did not disappoint. The Essence picks up literally were The Pledge leaves off. There is plenty of danger, action, betrayal, crazy twists, and a romance that I just love. Despite my not re-reading The Pledge prior to picking this book up, it only took me a couple pages to remember everything that had previously happened. Once I remembered it didn't take me long to become full engaged with this storyline.

Now that Charlie is Queen, she is trying to make right the things that have been wrong with her kingdom. Which is proving to be no easy task. There's a lot of unrest and one shocking betrayal that comes out of the new changes. Though Charlie's life is threatened and there's an assign stalking her every move, she's determined as ever to rule as Queen, and win the inner battle she fights every day with Queen Sabara's Essence, which is proving to be no easy task. After all it's hard to fight a battle you're keeping hidden from everyone around you. It's during this time and her preparation to attend the Queen's Summit that I got to see a surprising side of Charlie. Despite her strong determination, and her toughness, I liked seeing this much more vulnerable side to her. It wasn't something I was excepting, but it was something that fit given all she deals with in this storyline. Having said that, Charlie proves she's tougher than ever with all that happens.

I like that it's not just Charlie who feels more mature and grown up in this story line, but the other characters as well. I liked that Charlie isn't the only point of view in this story line. We also get Brooklyn and the Assigns's point of view. Each of these view points only added to Kimberly's vivid story telling. I love how she has this ability to just pull me into what ever story she's telling. Like The Pledge and the Body Finder series, I find myself hooked and unable to stop reading until I finish the book. There's this richness that doesn't just have to do with the world building, but with the way the story is told that I find addicting. Kimberly's writing is engaging and hooks me. I feel like I'm in the story experiencing the excitement of a new adventure, the danger that lurks around every corner in the Castle or bend in the road, and feeling the emotions that come from some of the heart pounding scenes in the book.

Talk about heart pounding, there are some crazy twists in this story I wasn't excepting. There are new characters, and one who poses a serious threat to Charlie and her battle with Sabara's Essence. That's just say I was not excepting this to happen! Speaking of Sabara's Essence, I am amazed at how strong Charlie's will power is in this story. There are some things she/Sabara do that I gasped at, and did not except, but with the way the story is told I felt like I understood Charlie more, and it made me sympathize with the slip in her resolve. I felt like each of the events in The Essence had a purpose in the over all storyline, and each action made sense when it was happening, even though some were a bit shocking. Let's just say magic, love, and the battle for power play a role in a shocking turn of events.

The mythology gets richer, the world proves to be more dangerous and actions that happen in this story change a few closely guarded relationships. The one sure, constant in this story is the relationship between Max and Charlie. I love their swoon worthy relationship! There was a moment I felt like their relationship was going to take a turn for the worse, but Max proves why he's one of my favorite "knight in shining" armor. *sigh* Though I didn't love this book as much as I loved The Pledge, but I still enjoyed the time I spent reading it. There was just something missing from it, and I can't even tell you what that was, but I will say I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I'd definitely recommend picking it up! Now I can't wait for the next installment.
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Another Great Book From Kimberly Derting! 18. Januar 2013
Von Jenny@ Juliababyjen's Reading Room - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Another great book from Kimberly Derting! I'm amazed she has been able to write 2 series at the same time so successfully! The Body Finder series is one of my favorites, and The Pledge series is fast becoming a favorite, too! There will be spoilers in this review for the first book, so read at your own risk!

First of all, the whole Sabara living inside of Charlie thing is very creepy. I felt so bad for Charlie. I can't imagine trying to hide a separate personality that can control you WHILE ALSO BEING QUEEN! Especially for a country that has been neglected from the tyrant that resides inside herself! But Charlie does try very hard for her country. She mentions to herself multiple times that she wishes she wasn't the queen, but at the same time, she loves her country and realizes there is no one else who can do this job.

Most of the story takes place while on the road to a Summit of all the queens, and at the Summit itself. During this journey, Charlie learns what politics is really about, and a lot more about her people. She promises them and herself that she will make things better. But someone is trying to sabotage her and get her killed within her own entourage, and Sabara is trying to assert her own agenda.

I liked how we learned a lot more about the world in this book. I really like Derting's world building. It feels like a cross between a dystopian and a fantasy, which is great. I also liked how we learned a lot of Sabara's backstory. I really missed seeing Max. He wasn't in about half of the book!

Things turn very dark for Charlie by the end, and I really feel the third book in this series will be epic! I can't wait!
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