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On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda Adeline understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, civilian peace and harmony, and a thriving commerce. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.
Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the many canals that snake through their island.
But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, his dying words force Veda to see the injustice of Bellonian society. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.
He jumps. Despite knowing what he knows and despite his hands are tied, Vance jumps. He flails and sputters at the water’s surface.
The door, our window down the Offering Canal that leads to the Great Sea, is cranked closed. The ear-piercing scraping of metal on metal, overtakes the silent dome, accenting the small boy’s last moments.
Vance barely makes it past the edge of the island, his lifeless body carried by the current out to open water.
As the door closes and the canal drains, the crowd stands, applauding, praising the day’s Offering.
Forcing my eyes to swallow back tears, I stand out of respect, expectation, but can’t begin to bring my hands together. I scan the blurred faces across the dome from me, straining to find Nico. But it’s no use, there are too many to sift through.
This is the first Offering I’ve attended without him by my side in longer than I care to remember. I realize having Nico near had kept me calm. An empty hopelessness consumes me, the weight of the world, or maybe just that of a five-year-old boy, folds my chest in on itself.
I glance up toward the High Regent’s balcony to gauge his reaction. He’s vanished.
“The story is different and amazingly entertaining, with characters that draw you in and make it impossible to put the book down. A mixture of The Hunger Games and Throne of Glass.” —Claire Keiffer
“I was enthralled with this story. I enjoyed everything about it: the details of the culture, the back story, the twists, the dialogue, and definitely the ROMANCE!” —MJBC
“The author has a true voice. Veda is interesting and has depth. Fleck writes in layers, leaving nothing unsurfaced.” —Tricia Norling
“I love it and I'm desperate to read the next one! It's like a cross between The Hunger Games and Divergent.” —BirdBeast03
“A gripping read, start to finish. The world-building feels whole, the action is fast-paced, and I can't wait to read more from this author!” —Daisy
I first discovered Swoon Reads with Katy Upperman’s cover voting for Kissing Max Holden and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever (and quite smart). Why wouldn’t publishers get cover input from readers? Also, the designs were amazing. Yeah, I wanted in on that.Not too long after, I uploaded BEWARE THE NIGHT (formerly, THE OFFERING ...read morecover reveal, Jessika Fleck, Beware the Night, cover voting