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.
Praise for The Offering
"This was a truly epic ending to the series." --Crystal Perkins, Goodreads Review
"The final book in Kimberly Derting’s Pledge trilogy is a thrilling conclusion. I was immediately swept up into it and powered right through. It was pretty much what I wanted with a few surprises along the way." --Krys at Bibliopunkk Reads
Kimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming April 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Seattle area, with her husband and three children, who often find the outrageous things they say either in the pages of her books or posted on Twitter or Facebook for the entire world to see.
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When did you first discover your love of writing?
I knew I wanted to be a writer back in 7th grade, when I took a journalism class. I wrote my first book when I was in my early twenties, got an agent, and thankfully it never got published. It was awful, but I learned a lot about how to finish a manuscript, revising, and submitting to agents. All things that would help me later in life.
Would you consider yourself a dystopian writer (since both of your series have a dystopian/post-apocalyptic flare)?
Honestly, I’ve always thought of myself as a suspense writer who likes kissing scenes. The things that matter most to me aren’t where, or when, the books are set. It’s whether there’s enough tension throughout the book to keep the reader (and me, frankly) interested, and whether the relationships—whether it’s the romantic relationship or the familial ones—are realistic.
Which book was the most difficult to write? (Or, were they all easy peasy lemon squeezy?)
They’re all easy in some ways, and challenging in others, but probably the toughest was DESIRES OF THE DEAD (book #2 in the THE BODY FINDER series). I’m not sure why, but I felt an enormous amount of pressure for it to be perfect right out of the gate—which no book ever is, of course. But I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around that fact, and I agonized over writing it. I hear a lot of writers referring to that as the “sophomore slump,” and I had it real bad.
In your mind, Was the series always meant to be a trilogy?
It was, although when it first sold, Simon & Schuster only bought the first one, so I had to wrap up the ending of THE PLEDGE enough so that if they decided not to buy the last two, readers wouldn’t be left with that, “Wait, what...?” feeling. Fortunately, before the first book was even released, they’d decided to pull the trigger on the remaining two and we had a series!
Can you describe each of the main characters in a few words (no longer than a tweet length).
CHARLIE: Determined to keep those she loves safe, even if it means sacrificing herself.
MAX: Who doesn’t love a hot prince?
BROOK: Unwilling to let her past keep her down. Will do anything to prove she’s worthy of her new role—even kicking butt.
ANGELINA: Not your typical little girl. Charlie’s little sister, is a whirlwind of energy who is uncannily perceptive.
As a huge fan of language (I speak English, Farsi, and a little French too)-- I really love the involvement of language in this series. Can you tell me a bit about how you thought of this concept?
Um, wow! I’m impressed that you’re multilingual!
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I’ve always been fascinated by language on so many levels. Not just how it can be used as a weapon—or a divisor, as in THE PLEDGE—but also how language can be used as a tool to bring people together. People often use language to judge others or make assumptions based on their grammar, idioms, or dialect. Aside from how we look, language can play a significant role (good or bad) in the way people view each other, whether intentionally or not.
What's one thing that got edited out (in any of the three books) that you wish would've stayed. Or, if nothing, what's one little tidbit we don't know?
I’m not sure there was anything edited out that I wish would have stayed, but I’m not sure everyone realized that Angelina—Charlie’s little sister in the series—is based on a real person.
Years ago, I met a woman named Marie Lucas, who shared her heart-wrenching stories of growing up in WWII Germany. She told me that when she was a little girl she would be awakened by air-raid sirens and then her older sisters would throw her over the fences so they could hide in the mineshafts outside of town until the fighting had passed. She also told me about her battered little rag doll, which was the inspiration for Angelina’s doll, Muffin.
Do you have any plans for other books or series that you can tell us about?
The first book of my new series, THE TAKING, comes out April 29th, 2014. It’s about a girl who wakes up after what she thinks is one night, only to realize that five years have passed and everyone she loves has moved on without her...yet she hasn’t aged a day.
I’m working on the second book in that series now!
What a fantastic interview thank you so much Kimberly! (I don't know about you guys, but I'm eager to read The Taking)!