The Essence (Pledge Trilogy Series #2)

The Essence (Pledge Trilogy Series #2)

by Kimberly Derting


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“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442445598
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Series: Pledge Trilogy Series , #2
Pages: 341
Sales rank: 820,046
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: HL810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kimberly Derting is the author of The Pledge series and the Body Finder series. She lives in Washington State. Visit her at

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The Essence 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! '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! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
ladyandthebook1912 More than 1 year ago
pagese More than 1 year ago
This is one of those time that maybe it was too long since I read the last book in the series. It's not the the events were unfamiliar. It's more than the story seems different that how I remember the first book being. I was indifferent to Charlie and her struggles as a new queen. It seems the book glossed over some of the parts that might have made us better understand her. She's put all these new policies into place, but I was surprised to read how much some of her people are unhappy with her changes. I wasn't really expecting her to all of a sudden be the most popular Queen. But, she doesn't seem to have a very strong hold of her kingdom. I didn't ever even really get a feel that she was ruling in her right. The book picked up the pace a little when Charlie makes it to the summit. But, this seems to be a party not a place for alliances to be made and broken. There's a lot of talk on the proper way to greet each Queen and what everyone is wearing. I found it kind of exhausting. But, there's always something that sets you up to read the next book. First, Sabara is still hanging on to Charlie. And interestingly enough, she's not happy with a backseat role. There's a couple instances were Charlie loses control and its Sabara pulling the strings. Plus, there's a traitor in their mists, and that person may or may not be working for someone Charlie considers a friend. Sadly, this book has that dreaded second book problem. It's necessary to the storyline or you won't understand what happens next. But, in the end it's likely to be my least favorite book in the series.
Ginger-Read-Reviews More than 1 year ago
In the sequel to The Pledge, we find the newly queened Charlie still struggling with the soul of her predecessor. She can't shake her, dreaming of the old queen's past life. And this is just the smallest of her problems, it seems at first. Citizens are rising against her rule and the changes she is so determined to make. The Queens of all other nations expect her at a summit where she will no nothing of politic and protocol, she is expected to learn things she has no desire to and quell things she has every desire to keep. Her life is not what it was and she must forge a new one for herself with or without the Essence buried inside her. All the aspects that I loved in The Pledge return full force in The Essence. The world is wonderfully fantastical and as the story moved outside of Ludania it became more so. There is a glamor to this part of the story where The Pledge was grittier. I loved the drama of it. There is the introduction of a handful of new characters, many I adored and hope to learn more of in round three. It is so hard to know who can be trusted in this epic tale of murder and betrayal that I constantly found myself debating every word spoken by some of these newcomers. It's one of these newcomers that will bring the presence of the old queen to the forefront of Charlie's problems. What he and Sabara will kindle inside of Charlie is a power and longing that will change everything in her world including her carefully protected and most needed relationships. The twists and turns and action of The Essence I found more enjoyable than in the Pledge, which seemed to move at a slower pace. However, one of the things I adored in the first book was hardly present in this one. Max. Max has a much smaller role and I missed him. But I am a bit of a sap for a good love story. Don't misunderstand, there is still a love story. Two rather, but it isn't Max and Charlies that takes the center stage here. Though I found each of them endearing in their own right, I craved more of what had already developed. For that I say, "kudos, Ms. Derting". For I will anxiously be counting the days for more of these characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS This book was very different than the first book! I didn't like this as much as the first book, but this is still a very great read! Charlie is now Queen of Ludania, after defeating Sabara, but Sabara isn't dead. Sabara is living inside Charlie's mind and Charlie has to fight her for control. Not only is it hard for her to fight Sabara and kept it a secret. Apparently, some of her people are very unhappy with her erasing the class system. A resistance has appeared and they want Charlie dead and they don't care who goes down with her. The first book in this series had a dystopian feel to it, but this book was more fantasy oriented. Of course, this book takes place in an entirely different world and it has a few magical elements, but the fact that Charlie is Queen now and there's no longer a tyrant rule only brings the fantasy aspect up. What I liked about this book was that Charlie's new status allowed us to see more of her kingdom and the other kingdoms. Also, it slowed realistically that when you erase laws that people have grown up with, there will be anger. Yeah, the laws were extremely controlling and cruel, but these people were used to this life. Not that I agree with their methods at all.  Also, I was fully expecting Sabara to still be alive, but I did like how the battle between them in Charlie's mind was incorporated. It was very interesting. Though, Charlie really upset me. She wouldn't tell anyone this and it was really important! Yeah, I kind of understand where she was coming from, but she should have at least told her friends or Max. Now, I hate saying this, but there were a lot of things that I bothered me about this book. The plot was a mess for one, I felt like a lot of things were happening at once, but by the end of the book I was really questing what the point of all these ways. There was Sabara, the resistance, assassins, and a bunch of other side plots, but they felt so scattered that I really didn't see the point. As for romance, there wasn't much. Charlie and Max love each other, obviously, but they are separated for half the book and the other half is focused on the numerous plots. If it weren't for the plots being so scattered, I would probably like that, but it was just okay. There was a random romance side-plot with some of Charlie's friends, though, that I could deal without. IN CONCLUSION I had issues with this sequel, but it wasn't a bad sequel. It was a bit of a mess of a middle-book with it's scattered plots, but the fantasy elements were interesting and I loved seeing more about this world. I did like this book, though not as much as the first, but I plan on reading the next book.
WulfLuva More than 1 year ago
Is this dystopian? Or is it just fantasy…? Because this review is of a second book in a trilogy, I won’t be going into too much detail. I’m just going to say what I think and get out of here so I can go stare at my bookshelves for thirty minutes and then decide what to read next. You’re welcome for this—the short review, not the staring. Or not welcome, depending on how you feel about short reviews. This book started off a little ways down the road from where the first one left off, and since I haven’t read The Pledge in a looong time, I wish this hadn’t been the case. I had forgotten everything besides the main plotline. This especially includes the side and minor characters. I really had to wrack my brain to figure out who they were (it didn’t work). I also thought it was weird that everyone who was in power was young. That annoys me. Even with books like Throne of Glass I sometimes get annoyed that the captain of the guard is only like 19 years old. It just doesn’t make sense. The beginning of the story was slightly boring. I did not want to push myself through, but I did, and I enjoyed the last half. It had more action and conflict than the first half. All in all, if you haven’t read the sequel to The Pledge yet and you wish to, I would encourage you to do it now, before it’s too late and you forget everything, because it’s easy to forget this fantasty/dystopian/I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it world. 3.5/5 stars *Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They just keep getting better. Cant wait to read the next
Bookworm6163 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first book and read through it with great ease. I looked forward to "The Essence" and when I began to read I was slightly disappointed. The beginning was slow and I had an issue forcing myself through it. Although I do recommend that you push through because overall it was a fantastic read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm giving up on this book. I've been reading it for 2weeks, and every time I pick it up I end up frustrated. I don't think I'll be finishing it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should get this book because have you seen the reviews 1 and 2? The book is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
xd12345tierra47 More than 1 year ago
i am reading the 1st book and it is going might get this books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know if I should get this or not. :(