Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Author: Rebecca Crunden
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.
To be honest, over the years I kind of fell out of love with dystopian novels. I think it’s because there’s only so much difference you can make between dystopian books and they all start to mend together and look alike. However, when the author contacted me about reviewing this book, this seemed like something I would like. This was an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it, mostly because I haven’t read something similar to this in a long time.
It tells a story of this kingdom where everything seems perfect and everyone is rich. There are no sicknesses and every injury and skin markings can be fixed in a matter of seconds. However, beneath the closed doors, the situation is much different. Every act of rebellion is punished by death.
Catherine is a daughter of King’s Hangman and is betrothed to her love Thom. However, everything changed when his troublemaker brother comes back into their lives. Suddenly, Catherine and Nate catch this weird sickness and in fear of being captured and executed by the kingdom they run away.
The world building was very interesting to me, especially considering this world is supposed to be our world but thousand years into the future. I also like how even though it’s supposed to seem futuristic, perfect and harmonic, it actually isn’t because the citizens don’t have any freedom beyond the walls. It might be a metaphor to some of today’s countries where things are very similar even today.
Even though they used to hate each other Catherine and Nate must work together in order to survive the wilderness. They are on run so they cannot trust anyone but each other. But Nate doesn’t ate Catherine like she used to hate im, as a matter of fact, he is in love with her. She, however, loves his brother and is not able to show him the same affection. I like how this wasn’t romance centered and I’m hoping that in the rest of the series, as weird as this sounds, Catherine will not end up together with Nate. I view their relationship as friendship and nothing beyond that and I’m hoping it will stay that way.
To be honest I wasn’t that into the whole plot at the beginning, but as the story progressed it got much better for me and I ended up rating it 4 stars. I flew through this because it was interesting and easy to read. It’s quite a good example of a nice, readable dystopian book with hints of adventure. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next book.