Noble Conflict

Publisher: Doubleday

Review

Years after a violent war has wiped out most of the world, Kaspar has grown up in the peaceful, prosperous Alliance. Following in the footsteps of his parents, he decides to join the Guardians - the Alliance's elite peacekeeping force, who are charged with protecting the city and defending it against brutal attacks from the Insurgency - violent rebels who want to overthrow the ruling society. Taking the moral and ethical high ground, the Guardians are trained not to harm their opponents, equipped with weapons that only incapacitate, but don't kill. Kaspar is proud to be one of them.

But when he is involved in an action that sees his best friend killed, Kaspar encounters Rhea - a beautiful young rebel who refuses to kill him and actually helps to save his life. Their brief encounter has unexpected consequences: Kaspar finds himself haunted by strange visions and memories that could only belong to Rhea, and that soon make him question what he has been taught about the Insurgency. Teaming up with quick-thinking young librarian Mackenzie, Kaspar sets out on a quest to discover the truth about the rebels, the Alliance - and what he and the other Guardians are really fighting for. 

A gripping dystopian thriller, Noble Conflict follows in the tradition of Blackman's groundbreaking Noughts and Crosses series.  Exciting, action-packed and suspenseful, it is also deeply thought-provoking, raising a whole host of challenging questions that seem particularly appropriate to our times. Containing violence and some strong language, it is most suited to older readers: but this smart, compelling stand-out novel is undoubtedly a must read.

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