The Scorpion Rules

Finished The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow.  I received a copy for review from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?”

I absolutely love the concept behind this book—it seemed so plausible, the idea that the way to force the world to get along would be to force each country to surrender the king’s/president’s/high political leader’s child basically hold that kid hostage to ensure there would be no wars?  (Note: this is not to say that I think it’s a GOOD idea; it’s actually a horrible idea.)

It seems like it should be really simple, right? But not so fast.  Because obviously at some point, you’d have to do what’s best for your country, even if it means that you’d lose your kid.  AND, of course, there’s way more to it that that.

I’m guessing this is going to be the first book in a series, right? I would definitely read the second one.

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