Women rule the East. Men rule the West.
Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus...
Ever since the death of her mother, Violet's life has been shadowed by bad luck. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now after two unfortunate incidents resulting in womanslaughter, she has been sentenced to death.
But one decision could save her life.
One decision to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.
Everything about the patriarchy defies Violet's identity, but she must sacrifice many things if she wishes to survive the forbidden kingdom... including forbidden love.
Ignore the title and don't expect something along the lines of certain books and blockbusters that are popular with teens recently. This isn't a game and it's perhaps not even that dystopian but it does have two very different societies in play with attitudes that felt feudal and at times barbaric but as a reader I couldn't help wondering why? It doesn't matter which side of the river you live as both cultures have attitudes that prevent true integration and equality. Clearly the author tried to get the point across that males and females should respect each other but the unequal balance meant both cultures failed miserably.
Our heroine isn't as bad as she's painted and has fought to survive in her maternal society but has no doubts about her lowly place. Violet has triumphed in many ways surviving loss of loved ones and even the bullying of those around her but her actions still lead her down a path that will see her traveling incognito to the male dominated Patrus. There she is subjected to a totally different attitude where she is expected to be subservient but Violet struggles with her own nature and boy does that land her in hot water! Yet her mission is paramount and her contact Lee pushes her into more and more bizarre situations until Violet feels like she has no place to run in a society that offers no second chances.
Ok I read this in an afternoon as I couldn't put it down. Violet is tough, trained to be a fighter and yet it's obvious she is also a protector (think Scrappy Doo!). I'm also aware that she doesn't regret her actions too much so other readers might find her cold and maybe even a little psychotic but given her circumstances and her clearly outgoing nature I found I had sympathy for her.
There are two main characters who she interacts with and they are her contact Lee and the security operative Viggo. Is it meant to be a love triangle? For me absolutely not and I won't give the plot away but it was clear that only one of those males could ever give Violet a fulfilling unrestrained relationship. What I didn't like was the disparity between the two male leads as the author gives insight and depth to Viggo whilst Lee is in many ways still an enigma.
Violet is tough but I was very surprised by a weapon she uses early on and will view dental work in a whole new light! I wasn't happy that her pigheaded ways put her in danger when she could easily avoid it but I'm guessing being treated as little more than a subservient pet really grated on her. The author introduced a habitat that was very intriguing and I'm wondering not just what but who might actually survive there? Then of course there's the ending which was a complete surprise and hopefully it will lead to all manner of things coming to light. Yes, it's YA but I was enthralled and would definitely read the next book.
I was gifted a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.