January 2, 2013

The Essence Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

The Essence (The Pledge #2)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.


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!

Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins) and THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.

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  1. I loved the Pledge, so I can't wait to read this! Thanks!

  2. OMG! I am so happy this book is being hosted in a giveaway! I've literally been waiting for it all of 2012 after reading The Pledge. I definitely loved the first book and all of it's characters. I can't wait to find out what happens in The Essence :)

  3. Kimberly Derting is one of my favorites. I'm excited for her newest book.

  4. I can't wait to read this book!!!

  5. I really enjoyed the first book and I can't wait to see what happens in this one. I also love her Body Finder series. She is one of my must read authors.

  6. Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway! I loved The Pledge, and the Body Finder series is one of my favorite series. I am seriously excited about this book.

  7. Aaah I just realized I didn't enter my address properly, under 'Riya'. My address is:

    Riya A., The Raos
    400 Soapberry Circle
    Irving, TX 75063

    Thanks! x