Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She’s never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings’ tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.
And she’s always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.
The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn’s.
Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.
As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.
_______________________________________________________My thoughts on the book:
My rating: 5/5
Wow! The Scourge is a freaking amazing book. I am in awe of this author. Just wow.
I can't believe that Ms. Henley managed to write a very visual, sensory book with a blind narrator. That is an amazing feat. Knowing that the lead character was blind, I though that the visual component would be missing. But it definitely wasn't. The other senses are heightened in the narration while the author cleverly brings in visual descriptions so that the world of The Scourge can be visualized. Once again, in awe.
Fennel was one hell of a heroine. She was blind in a dangerous world and still managed to keep up with everything going on around her, even when she starts discovering the secrets of the Scourge. She was tough, determined, and very admirable. I absolutely adored her character. She is officially one of my favorite heroines.
Peregrine, or Peree for short, was just as wonderful. That boy was so sweet, I adored him. Despite the fact that Lofties typically look down on Groundlings-both literally and figuratively-he is kind and sweet to Fennel right away. And when he falls in love with her, he was just so amazing. Can you tell that I fell head over heels in love with him? Fennel is a lucky girl. And those two together were just the sweetest couple! Their relationship escalates quickly, but I don't think readers will cry insta-love in this situation. They live in a world where death is a very real thing that could and does happen all the time to anyone of any age. Of course a romantic relationship would move quickly. Not to mention the fact that Fennel's life was guarded by Peree during her duty as water-bearer and later. I adored the two of them together. Their love was so sweet and pure in a world where the shit has long ago hit the fan-excuse my language. I just adore both of them.
This plot is amazing. I'm writing this review two weeks after reading the books and I loved it enough to remember it after reading it once. That is a true feat. Only my absolute favorite books remain in my memory long after reading them. The action begins immediately, as well as the elaborate world building. The plot moves quickly and there is a massive surprise in store. My jaw literally dropped when I found out all the secrets of the Scourge. The ending could be considered complete, happy and mostly tied up, but there is a definite segue into book 2, which I just recently found out about and am very excited for.
Everything about this book is utter perfection. To say I loved it is a gross understatement. This book is amazing. Just read it.
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