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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.
Review of the Scourge
Rating: 5 Stars
This story blew me away and not just the amazing plot, No. It was the main character that kept me turning pages and feeling amazed at every brave action she conquers.
Fennel is born blind so the majority of the story is told through touch and smell and what others describe around her. In her world her blindness is a blessing for the people who fear the scourge. The scourge are zombie like, and would tear any person apart turning them into one of their own. Only one type of person is exempt – the blind. The scourge can’t touch the blind so they become a person highly dependent on in the village when the scourge arrives.
Fennel is the water bearer at times when the village is in hiding. As a groundling Fennel needs someone to watch over from above, people who live in the trees are known as Lofties and Fennel’s loftie is Peree. J loved him.
The world building was well done and the inventive way of separating the clans due to colour gave a more daunting tone to this fantasy tale.
Fennel was one of the most kind and bravest people to read. Peree who watches her from the trees was interesting and an unexpected friendship blossoms between these two. The relationship is patient, kind and gentle. Bear is another love interest for Fennel but I much preferred Peree.
The basis of the Scourge and what Fennel and Peree thought about their world comes crashing down when they go in search of secret waters within the caves. Some revelations had me gasping but one about Fennel filled me with rage and I must admit I shed some tears.
This is the first book I have read where the heroine is blind and what a story it is. This was a well-crafted , imaginative and gripping tale of bravery love and a lesson lay within the story that us as humans give such power to lies that soon they becomes very real.