In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society - Elite, Member, Inter or Trog - but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.
But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?
Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .
I absolutely loved this book. It is current, exciting, page-turning, sinister and shocking. We start with Silver Blackthorn, so named for her silver streak of hair. She is turning 16 years old and is about to take her ‘reckoning’ which will decide her future role in society. By a strange twist of fate, Silver ends up becoming an ‘offering’, one of a small number of boys and girls who are taken to the King’s castle at Windsor. No one really knows what happens to the offerings and most are not seen or heard of again. The offerings are allocated jobs within the castle but it seems that no-one is to be trusted and no-one dares to get too close to anyone else. Offerings disappear regularly and Silver is curious to know what is happening to them. There are regular banquets presided over by King Victor and the Minister Prime. The King is an unpredictable man who relishes engaging his offerings in ‘games’ after dinner, that often end in bloodshed. This is the creepy, violent part of the story. I found that I began to dread banquet night as much as the offerings. The pace and excitement was maintained throughout the whole book and I came to admire Silver, as a strong new heroine. I am so glad I have discovered this new series; the agony is going to be in the wait for the 2nd part. Can I have it immediately please?