The Offering (The Pledge, #3)

First Lines: Unflinching, the executioner stood on the bloodstained floor facing the prison cells as he welded an axe with a razor-sharp blade.

With so many series out, it’s always nice when you can finish one off.  But it usually takes me a while to finally get the courage to do it.  Is the last book going to completely change the way I look at the series?  Or is it going to fizzle out with less action than some of the previous books?

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Being queen is not easy for Charlie…or Queen Charlaina of Ludania, as she is officially known.  She’s tried to make improvements to the Queendom, but not everyone wants change.  And the essence of the ex-queen Sabara that lives inside Charlie is not making things any easier.  When a peace negotiation with the Queen of Astonia fall through, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania.  It seems Charlie’s only option is to sacrifice herself for her people.  But things may not be exactly what they seem…and Charlie may be walking into a trap.

If you’re wondering whether I thought this book/series ended with a bang or a fizzle, it’s somewhere in between.  But probably just a hair closer to a fizzle.  I think part of it is that it follows the layout so many other YA series do when they’re ending a series.  Yes, it’s a natural way to tie up loose ends, but it gets cliche so quickly.

I still really like Charlie.  I think she’s a great queen, even if she doesn’t always know what exactly she’s doing.  But I felt that most of the other characters (besides perhaps Xander and Brook) were fairly stagnant in this book.  Most of it is because there are few characters in the series who consistently play a big role in Charlie’s life.  I complained with the last book that my favorite characters were barely there, and that was true again this time.  Charlie is clearly the main character and all the others are supporting characters.  No one else gets nearly the same face time as Charlie, even though there are snippets throughout told from other perspectives.

There were some new characters that were very cool, and I learned some new things about Ludania.  Some of the action was pretty intense, and there were a few surprises that occurred.  Otherwise, I really thought this story was just ho-hum.  Nothing really grabbed me and made me want to keep reading it because it was exciting.  I really wish it had.

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