Looking for a trenchant, imaginative, beautifully written novel to read? Look no further: it's The Scourge, by A. G. Henley. Her use of language is beautiful, the world she's created so detailed and fascinating and consistent, and the personal story of protagonist Fenn is just wonderful. I love... show more
Looking for a trenchant, imaginative, beautifully written novel to read? Look no further: it's The Scourge, by A. G. Henley. Her use of language is beautiful, the world she's created so detailed and fascinating and consistent, and the personal story of protagonist Fenn is just wonderful. I love all the characters—especially the star-crossed lovers at the heart of this dystopian YA (though definitely ageless) novel.- Sarah Cloots, former editor at Greenwillow Books, imprint of HarperCollins Children's BooksThe sighted say the creatures’ bodies are open in patches, weeping pus and thick, dark blood. Their deformed faces are masks of horror. They roam the forest, reeking of festering flesh, consuming anything living. People who survive the attacks become flesh-eaters themselves. Death is better. Fennel has known all her life that this day would come—the day she would face the Scourge alone. She's just inherited the duty of collecting fresh water for her people, the Groundlings, who hide in nearby caves when the flesh-eaters swarm through the forest. Fenn is Sightless, which means she should be one of the few who are inexplicably protected from the creatures, but she hasn't been tested. Until now. Fenn is less-than-thrilled to rely on a Lofty to help her deliver the water. Peree is surprisingly thoughtful, and he tells distracting stories from before the Fall of Civilization, but he can’t be trusted. The arrogant, tree-dwelling Lofties put arrows in the backs of unsuspecting Groundlings. When the Scourge lingers, violence erupts between the Groundlings and Lofties. Fenn volunteers to search for a source of water rumored to be free of the flesh-eaters, and Peree secretly joins her on the treacherous journey. What they find shatters all the truths of Fenn’s life. As open war looms between the Groundlings and Lofties, Fenn must decide what she most wants to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.