The Essence 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.

About Kimberly Derting

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Kimberly Derting is the author of The Pledge series and the Body Finder series. She lives in Washington State. Visit her at
Published January 1, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 354 pages
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Charlie defeated the evil Queen Sabara in the previous installment and has become, reluctantly, Queen Charlaina of Ludania.

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In THE PLEDGE, Derting took readers through the takeover of evil Queen Sabara, and in THE ESSENCE, readers will learn more about Charlie and her loyal helpers as her kingdom begins to adjust to the new order.

Jan 02 2013 | Read Full Review of The Essence

Gr 9 Up—Charlaina Hart, 17, is now the unlikely queen of Ludania, but the former evil queen Sabara is not gone. Her spirit, or essence, resides within Charlie. The new queen, while inexperienced and uncomfortable in her role, has been able to make some sweeping changes across the country, includi...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The Essence

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