Cargon: Duty and Sacrifice by Kimberly Gould
Reading level: Young Adult
eBook: 186 pages
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing
Release date: January 16, 2013
Series: Cargon #2
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Source: eBook from the author
In a post-apocalyptic world, Eve has discovered power of more than one nature. In Honour and Privilege, Eve became heir to the throne.
In Duty and Sacrifice, she explores and defines the power of the elite. At the same time, electricity is being harnessed for the first time in centuries, providing the first glimpse into the ancient people who left the world as it exists.
The horror of this revelation could shake their society as much or more than a servant becoming monarch.
Even though I didn’t enjoy this second book as much as the first book, I thought it was quite good, coming from a very small publisher. This series is a very unique dystopian and futuristic world where society has reverted back into historical times where nothing electronic works and much of the knowledge of our modern world has been forever lost.
At the beginning, the book lacked a bit in terms of plot, but it got better as the story progressed. In the small sovereign state of Fontive, Cargon is a board game that is used to determine the fitness of the leaders of the state, or the Elite as they are called in this series. Challenges are common among the Elite in order to gain a higher title, or in some cases, in order to gain someone’s hand in marriage. Although the actual game wasn’t played many times in DUTY AND SACRIFICE, it did play a role in comparing Fontive to other sovereign states. For example, one of Fontive’s neighbors, Augustia has a completely different way of determining rulers. Titles are only gained through birth but since birthrate is on the rise in that state, there are too many Elite member and not enough titles. And too many Elite for the amount of commoners, thus creating some tensions between the two groups.
The main character, Eve, is exactly the character that we saw at the end of book one: innocent in so many ways, yet intelligent enough to be a good Second to the High One of Fontive. As an ex-servant, her unique point of view allows her to think outside the box, and she’s the one that first to suggest democracy as a way of resolving the problems in Augustia. However, some Elite of Augustia resist her “new” idea, which inevitably leads to an assassination. I love how the author introduces the idea of democracy as if it’s something that’s unheard of, as if it’s something that’s completely new.
I can’t forget to mention Eve’s two suitors, Adam and Louis. Adam, in my opinion, is the perfect guy for any girl in Eve’s position. I’ve liked him throughout the series and I think he’s the one that’s best suited for Eve. As for Louis, I had him pegged as a condescending and vile boy who would never be good enough for Eve. However, since Louis won Eve’s hand in marriage in a Cargon game against Adam, Eve was more or less forced to marry him in book 1. However, somewhere between book 1 and 2, something extraordinary happened and Louis had a change of personality and became a tolerable match. Despite all the nice things he’s done for Eve, I still don’t trust him. For some reason, the odd love triangle works in this setting and I can’t wait so see the result in the following book.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, and the books in the Cargon series are good examples. Personally, I’m not a fan of the the cover of DUTY AND SACRIFICE because it doesn’t have that attractiveness of current YA bestsellers. When I first saw the cover, I didn’t really understand what the image on the bottom represented. However, as I read the book, I finally realized what it was: it’s a magnetic field and the science nerd in me was then thrilled that I actually made the connection. I’m sure many readers won’t be as thrilled as me about this small fact but that just goes to prove how much of a nerd I am. Scientific discoveries are being made throughout the book, which includes creating electricity with magnets, but as Eve learns more and more about the “past” through the experiments, she becomes more and more reluctant to encourage the discovery of electric power because of it’s dangerous possibilities.
CARGON: DUTY AND SACRIFICE is an intelligent sequel that keeps you interested with political turmoil and scientific revelations. As a science nerd, I have very little interest in politics but we all know how much one is linked to the other. One of the only problems I had with the book was the actual descriptions of the science experiments. It was difficult to follow what the characters were doing, but I more or less got the main idea of the scenes. Those that have read book 1 will be satisfied with CARGON: DUTY AND SACRIFICE but will be left with an unfinished story since things get really interesting at the end of the book.