Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Summary from Netgalley:
Dystopian Novella in a High Fantasy Setting
In a society without love, three brothers develop an unbreakable bond; in a land without mercy, only a handful of boys like them are allowed to reach adulthood.
The three brothers take on the pitiless test of the Green Path, knowing that even if they win, one of them must die.
But which? Having to make that terrible decision proves crueler than anything else the Green Path can throw at them.
Review: Prequel to The Narrow Path series, three brothers bonded by loyalty and love have to face the one thing that can tear then a part, The Cruel Path. This competition uses different methods to whittle down the Ascor males to a select few who'll get to hide underground in shelters which protect them from the scorching sun for the few days when living above ground becomes impossible every year. With limited space it is impossible for there to even be three survivors among the brothers. Translation the painful fact that only two will be alive at the end of this novella.
David writes a beautiful touching story set in a dark reality. Behind the riches and possiblities lies the reality of competition and deceit. Fathers staying distant from sons who might not survive, children competing against, terrorising and even killing each other just to get ahead. But Eolnar and his two brothers plan to stay above that and telling the story from his perspective shows us the bond that remains unbroken even when three become two and on-wards. This book pulled at my heart strings and at the end, a few were even broken. Sacrifice, love, selfishness, youth and looking to the future are a just a few things explored in this amazing dystopia that I recommend to all readers to read at least once. The Cruel Path doesn't just exceeds expectations, it shatters all of them. The only fault is that is seems to short to be so magnificent.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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