A Touch of Death

Rebecca Crunden

The Outlands Pentalogy
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Fantasy, Dystopian
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears. A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him. Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.

This book contains:

  • attempted rape
  • murder
  • mentions of genocide and terrorism,
  • dictator style government.

Kitty and Nate are our central characters throughout the story; however, the story is focused on being told from Kitty’s view. We also have Evander, Zoe and Tove join us about halfway through in a way that I wasn’t expecting and somehow end up feeling like an integral part of the story.

Kitty is a strong, survivor, who fights tooth and nail throughout the book against everything she believes, and learns, to be wrong about her world. Even her own beliefs.

Kitty, who is Complemented to Thom, starts our story wandering the Nitoib mountains with Nate. A place they aren’t allowed to be. When they finally make it out of the mountains and Thom meets up with them, we discover where this story is going.

In the direction of a dictator government out to get them, while they fight for their lives across the whole breadth of the kingdom in the search for the one thing they need. The one thing that might not even exist. The one thing that might just get them killed or imprisoned.

I’m not a fan of the six parts rather than chapters, but those breaks also make total sense so I can’t hate them. Maybe chapters rather than section breaks would’ve made things a little better?

That combined with a slow start made it quite difficult for me to get into it. But that one little thing got my interest and held it the entire way through the entire book. When I got to the end of the first book, I was actually a little upset that it was ending!

This is the first book in a Pentalogy and I’m really hoping I get to keep reading more coz I have my own ideas of what I think will happen. But that doesn’t mean they’ll happen, so I want to know how Rebecca has it all planned out, well written out since the whole series is done!

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