Book - 1999 | 1st Simon Pulse ed
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The time is the not-too-distant future. London is in ruins. A bombed-out shell. A picked-over carcass where the only rule of law is might makes right. What remains of the city is being fought over by two ruthless gangs of warlords. In an effort to create peace, however, a truce between the two families is suggested by Val, patriarch of the Volson clan. His collateral? The hand of his fourteen-year-old daughter, Signy, in marriage to his blood rival, Conor. A rebellious, headstrong teenager who has dreamed all her life of joining her father's forces as a soldier in the war against Conor, Signy is stunned by the announcement. To agree to such a plan is unthinkable! Conor is her mortal enemy. To live as his wife is no better than to live as a slave...for the rest of her life. But what of the alternative? Does she dare defy her father? And what of the consequences of her rebellion? Her decision will set in motion a series of events--events both horrifying and tragic--that will change her life forever. Melvin Burgess has fashioned a powerfully dystopian vision of a young woman's coming of age against the backdrop of war that is shocking, harrowing, and compelling.
Publisher: New York : Simon Pulse, c1999, 2007
Edition: 1st Simon Pulse ed
ISBN: 1416936157 (pbk)
9781416936152 (pbk)
Branch Call Number: Y BURGESS
Characteristics: 416 p. ; 18 cm


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Jul 26, 2012

was recommended by my wife and It was one of the best book I have read so far ^_^

Cdnbookworm Jun 15, 2011

This teen novel is set at some uncertain dystopian point of time in the city of London, England. Two young teens (14) Siggy and Signy are twin brother and sister, the youngest in the ruling family of Val Volson. King Val is marrying Signy off to Conor, the leader of another fiefdom, hoping the union will bring peace to the area and unite them against the halfmen.
Both of these fiefdoms are in the old city of London and surrounding them is a land inhabited by halfmen, creatures of mixed human/animal blood. The halfmen are men in varying degrees, some of them able to pass as men in most circumstances. The mixed blood creatures are men mixed with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, and pigs. The ring of land around London that they inhabit serves as a buffer between the fiefdoms and the controlled city of Ragnor (which we don't learn much about here). The action is set in the two fiefdoms and shows the fight for control between the Volsons, Conor, and the halfmen. There is intrigue, betrayal, magic, and science here. The plot seems to be guided by the old gods: Odin and Loki among others.
The character I cared about most was not Siggy (who seemed weak and unfocused) nor Signy (who seemed self-centered and manipulative) but Cherry, the shapeshifter who played a pivotal role in the plot. This is the interesting beginning to a series of books that continues with Bloodsong.


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