Series: The Country Saga #1
Published by Self Publish on 2013-01-29
Length: 398 pages
Reviewing eBook from Amazon
In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.
Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.
Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.
As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.
Fire Country by David Estes is book one of The Country Saga and follows Siena’s story as she nears the age in which her community considers her an adult. Siena is 15 years old and will be sixteen soon, meaning that she will be chosen to be a Bearer. All women must bear 3 children after their Calling to the husband the elders choose for them. However rumors of the Wild Ones, a tribe of women living in the barren lands, kidnapping younglings before the Call are spreading. Siena must find the truth that the elders are hiding before her time runs out.
I don’t think I can say this enough…I LOVE the characters created by David Estes. His unique writing style brings them to life on the pages and it is so easy to put yourself in their shoes.
Siena is still a child, but she bears the world on her shoulders. The Elders are lying and she knows it. Taking it upon herself she uses some extreme means to learn the truth and all of this before she turns sixteen and is forced to wed and bear children to someone she doesn’t love. I found Siena to be a remarkably strong-willed, determined character. She’s brave and fearless when it comes to helping others, and she is loyal to those she loves. I know I’m gushing, but I really love her! She’s a character that inspires young girls to stand up for what they know is right.
Whatever Circ and I were, it went beyond the simple labels of humans. Lovers, friends, family…
That’s the only one that feels right when I think about it.
Circ is her best and only friend. He is handsome, strong, and hopelessly in love with a girl who can never be his. The same age as Siena, he will not have to be Called as a husband until he is eighteen. So there is no hope that Siena will be his. And Siena loves him back, has fantasized that he will be her Called, though she knows it will never happen. Circ brings out the best in Siena, as a best friend should, but he also gives her a confidence that she lacks when he is gone.
All I know to say is this author knows how to create an amazing world! The world-building is subtle, yet entirely believable. The Country Saga is a sister series to the Dwellers Saga, in which we find out that the world was hit with a devastating meteor leaving life on the surface uninhabitable, or at least that is what the Dwellers think. In this book, we find out that a few did survive and managed to live on the surface. In Fire Country where Siena lives, the sky is a dull yellow with a bright red sun and hazy, gaseous clouds. It’s always hot, and few things live and grow there.
Siena and the whole community live be one rule, do what it takes to keep the human race alive. For her community, that’s the Call. The Call is a ceremony everyone must partake in. For women at the age of 16 they will be given a husband by the elders and are required to bear three children to ensure the community’s survival. The men at the age of 18 will receive their first Call wife and in years to come will be given two more for a total of 3 wives and 9 children, if all live. (I promise I didn’t just spoil the book, most of this is explained during the first chapter.) I was horrified for Siena and all the girls who at 16 are forced to marry a man they may or may not know. I couldn’t imagine the terror or the repulsion they must feel. Not to mention the fact that love is nonexistent in this community.
When the rumors of the Wild Ones and deals with the neighboring Ice Country are overheard by Siena, she makes it her mission to find out all she can. If there is another way to live she will do it. Then the unspeakable happens View Spoiler »Circ is killed in a hunting excursion ordered by her Father. I literally thought I read it wrong and re-read this section probably ten times before I finally accepted that the perfect boy was gone. « Hide Spoiler and Siena loses her drive. She accepts her fate, but others have different plans for her.
The whole plot is an emotional roller coaster with several highs and lows. But one thing is certain, I could not stop reading! The suspense of what will happen coupled with the heartbreak of what was happening drove the plot and Siena. I connected with the story instantly and fell in love with the characters and world. If you enjoy young adult dystopians, science fiction, and a sweet romance, then I highly suggest you pick up this story. It’s well worth the money and your time 😀