I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.by A.G. Henley
Series: Brilliant Darkness #1
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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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.
The Scourge is a story about two peoples…one on the ground and one on the trees. They are randomly visited by the Scourge… sick people who attack them. In order to stay safe, the one group (Lofties) stay up in the trees and the other (Groundlings) hide in caves. The Groundlings send a young girl named Fennell, known as the Water Bearer, to fetch water for both peoples. Because she cannot see, she is mysteriously protected from the disease and those who are afflicted by it. The Lofties send a protector, Peree, known as The Keeper to watch over her. When The Scourge decide to stay around for an extended time, the Groundlings are trapped in their caves. When it becomes obvious that Fennel could not physically keep up with the demands of providing people to both peoples, she is sent deeper into the caves to try to find a new water source. Secretly joined by Peree, the pair set out on a path to save their people.
This story really captured my heart. It is just so well written and the world so engrossing. I really cared about Fennell and Peree, and I wanted to see them succeed. But even more, I wanted to know more about the world, the Scourge, and the history of the peoples. It is really a neat premise, two peoples separated…one on the ground and one in the trees. They have a history…they don’t like each other. But they must work together to survive. Why are sightless people protected? Where do the Scourge come from? So many mysteries here to unravel. Even though it is a dystopia, it really had a fantasy feel to it and the story happens in the forest, caves, and mountains. This was a good page turner and I read it in just 2 days. I have nothing bad to say about this book…it is one on my new favorites and I’m giving it 5 stars. For me it just has that elusive quality that makes it 5 stars to me. I hope everyone can check it out.