In The Pledge you’re introduced to a world that is kept divided by languages and a young girl who can do the impossible–she can understand them all. Charlaina’s gift is the mark of a queen and she is forced to ally with rebels to depose her countries evil ruler and save her family. In The Essence, Charlaina faces threats both without and within as a rival queen attempts to assassinate her and Sabara–the queen she overthrew and who tried to posses her–attempts to take the young queen’s body. But it is in The Offering, Charlaina’s third and final adventure, that the greatest dangers lie. For with her assassination attempts having failed, Queen Elena of Astonia has decided on more direct measures to get what she wants.

Everything that I love about The Pledge trilogy is in this third book; well written prose, careful descriptions that keep you guessing, and multiple POV’s that are as well crafted as they are used.

All of this is exemplified in the opening scene which is told from the perspective of Nico, Sabara’s love interest and who’s power keeps him from aging. While it is immediately clear that Nico has betrayed Charlaina–which comes as no surprise–it’s unclear what happens to the result of his betrayal; Alexander, Sabara’s grandson and orchestrator of the rebellion that overthrew her.

Nico is in the dungeon with Queen Elena as Alexander–who’s been tortured–is brought before someone that you presume is an executioner. And this is where Kimberly Derting’s excellent writing comes into play. It is heavily implied that Alexander is executed, but it isn’t expressly said which leads to doubt. That doubt is further enforced when Queen Elena sends Charlaina Alexander’s hand instead of his head. Is Alexander dead, or was his hand cut off and his life spared for some reason?

This type of writing is prevalent in the book. I was constantly guessing as to what the character’s motives were, what was happening to them, and even if they were alive. It was this–as much as the stellar plot line–that kept me on my toes and refusing to put the book down.

Coming to the end of a series is always bitter sweet and I found this one harder than most. Hands down, this series was one of the most engaging and well written that I’ve encountered. I loved watching Charlaina grow from an unsure young woman to a confident queen who could lead her kingdom.

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