Today I’m here with my review for A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden, I was contacted by Rebecca a little while ago to see if I would be interested in reading the first book in The Outlands Pentalogy. After reading the synopsis my answer was simply yes!
Let’s jump right in…
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids. – Goodreads –
I really enjoyed this book, the first thing that made me want to read this is that it is sci-fi/dystopian, I really struggle to find dystopians that really satisfy me, this definitely didn’t disappoint! Catherine can’t stand her betrothed’s older brother Nate yet they somehow end up on this crazy ride having to rely on each other. I really enjoyed the development of them both throughout their ordeal, one who has lived a very comfortable life and the other who has been a prisoner in the extremely tough Redland.
The Kingdom of Cutta has a brutal government/monarchy, any person who disagrees with the king and his views will be sentenced to death. Those who are not killed are sentenced to many years of hard labour in mines or building new cities for the rich. If they survive long enough to be released then they will bare the mark of a prisoner, sterilised and unable to be complemented (basically an arranged marriage with rewards for those who produce multiple children as the population is drastically decreasing).
I could honestly go into so much detail as this book has a super interesting set up, I would have loved a little more world-building so that I could fully envisage myself within the story. However, the only reason I couldn’t give this book the full 5 stars is because I felt that the pace did slow a little in the middle.
I absolutely loved Nate and Kitty and the ending was so abrupt that I need the next book in this series now!
Thank you so much to Rebecca for inviting me to read this!
See you in the next one…