Future Earth has scarce resources and has been ravaged with wars as a result. For generations, an AI by the name of Talis, has endeavored to reign in the wars by holding the child of each ruler hostage – the Children of Peace. When nations go to war, Talis sends a Swan Rider to kill their beloved child. Make war personal. The Children of Peace are raised together, groomed simultaneously to rule a nation and also be sacrificed for a nation. When Elian becomes the most recent hostage, the group dynamics change. Elian’s nation and Greta’s nation are on the brink of war over water and both teens know their execution is imminent.
A study of war and peace, of resistance and compliance, of humanity and artificial intelligence are all explored in this dramatic, cleverly crafted first novel in a planned series. Greta is more than a mere pawn and tool for Talis. She is the key to the future for all humanity. This is one of the best dystopian novels I have read in a very long time. Rich with characters, drama, sacrifice, and death, the reader is left with much to consider. Highly recommend.
eGalley review Publication date 9.22.15