A Gentle Tyranny

Wander. (Nede Rising: Bk. 1). Mar. 2021. 416p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781496448330; pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781496448347.
Gr 9 Up–Reina Pierce lives by the creed of her home: Protect the weak. Safety for all. Power without virtue is tyranny. Reina has been chosen to become a Candidate for the position of Apprentice to the Matriarch of the country of Nedé. It has always been her dream to work alongside her grandmother, the current Matriarch. Being the granddaughter of the Matriarch can be either a blessing or a curse because the citizens will judge her every move. They want to see her fail during Candidate training, but for Reina, becoming the next Matriarch will give her an opportunity to better the lives of those of Nedé and those in the surrounding areas. Once Reina goes through Candidate training, she is chosen as one of the final four. This takes her to the peacekeeping force, Alexia, where she begins vigorous training to become one of them. By the end, Reina realizes that she has her own destiny to follow. This well-written dystopian novel about a matriarchal society is reminiscent of The Hunger Games with the strong characters of Wonder Woman. While the narrative starts slow, the ending will leave readers on the edge of their seats. Nedéans have a range of brown skin tones, and Reina is described as having hazel eyes.
VERDICT Recommend to fans of The Hunger Games and Wonder Woman.

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