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Rebel Heart

Cover of Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart

Dust Lands Series, Book 2

Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV's Hollywood Crush blog called "better than The Hunger Games."

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba's world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh's freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV's Hollywood Crush blog called "better than The Hunger Games."

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba's world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh's freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

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  • From the book

    JACK

    IT'S LATE AFTERNOON. SINCE MORNING, THE TRAIL'S BEEN following a line of light towers. That is, the iron remains of what used to be light towers, way back in Wrecker days, time out of mind. It winds through faded, folded hills, burnt grass and prickle bush.

    The flat heat of high summer beats on his head. His hat's damp with sweat. The dust of long days coats his skin, his clothes, his boots. He tastes it when he licks his dry lips. It's been a parched, mean road all the way. He crests a ridge, the trail dips down into a little valley and it's suddenly, freshly green. The air is soft. Sharply sweet with the scent of the scrub pine that scatters the slopes.

    Jack pulls up his horse. He breathes in. A long, deep, grateful breath. He drinks in the view. On the cleared valley floor, a small lake glints in the sun. Beside it stands a junkshack with a bark and sod roof, the rest of it cobbled together from Wrecker trash, stones, dried mud and the odd tree trunk. A man, a woman and a girl are working in the well-tended patches of cultivated land.

    People. At last. Apart from the white mustang, Atlas, he hasn't spoken to a soul for days. His aloneness was starting to weigh him down.

    An there was I, he says aloud, thinkin I was th'only person on the planet.

    He whistles a tune as he rides on. He calls a hello as they leave their work and come to meet him. They aren't particularly friendly. They've got weary faces. Wary eyes. They're little used to company, take little interest in the wider world and have little to say. Never mind. Just seeing them and having this awkward, mainly one-sided conversation cheers him no end.

    The man's worn out. The woman's sick. Dying, if he's any judge of such things. With yellowish skin, her mouth set tight against pain. The girl's sturdy enough, fourteen or so. She stares at her boots. Silent, even when he speaks to her direct. But her plain, flat face lights with love when her brother comes running from the shack, calling her name, Nessa! Nessa!

    He's a cheerful berry of a child. A barefoot, round-eyed four-year-old called Robbie. His family gazes at him with such fond wonderment that it's clear they can't quite believe their good fortune. He leans against his sister's legs, sucks his thumb energetically and sizes up Jack.

    The battered, wide-brimmed hat. The silver eyes. The lean, tanned face that hasn't seen a razor for weeks. The long, dusty coat and worn boots. The crossbow on his back, his well-stocked weapons belt--bolt shooters, longknife, bolas, slingshot.

    Boo, says Jack. Robbie's mouth drops open. His thumb falls out.

    Jack growls. The boy shrieks with delight and tears off towards the lake. Nessa gives chase. The valley sings with their shouts and laughter.

    They aren't sociable people but they aren't mean. They see to it that he and his horse are watered, washed and fed. They offer him a roof for the night, but he's anxious to keep moving. Dusk is falling as he sets off again. They're hard workers, early risers. They'll be in bed as soon as he's gone.

    By his reckoning, the storm belt should be no more than three days' travel from here. And that's where he's headed. The storm belt, a tavern called The Lost Cause and an old friend named Molly. He's the bearer of bad news. The worst. The sooner he delivers it, the sooner he can turn around, retrace his steps and keep on heading west.

    West. To the Big Water. Because that's where she is. It's where he promised to meet her.

    He pulls out the stone that he wears around his neck, threaded on a leather string. It's smooth and cool to the touch. Pale rosy pink. Shaped...

About the Author-
  • Moira Young is the author of the Dust Lands series. The first book, Blood Red Road, won the Costa Children's Book Award, was a Cybils Award Winner for fantasy and science fiction, and was a Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. The Dust Lands continues with Rebel Heart, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and Raging Star. A native Canadian, Moira lives with her husband in the UK. Learn more at DustLandBooks.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 3, 2012
    In Young's second Dust Lands book, she returns to the gritty world of Blood Red Road and to the gruff, colloquial voice of Saba, a fierce girl living in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future that incorporates elements of the fantasy and western genres. Saba is haunted by the deaths on her shoulders (particularly that of her friend Epona), and she believes she might be going insane. Her rescued twin brother, Lugh, also bears emotional scars from his time in captivity, and the siblings often battle each other as they quest to reach an oasis called the Big Water. Meanwhile, Saba's new love, Jack, discovers that the evil slavers known as the Tonton are rising again, led by someone called the Pathfinder. Young is even more ambitious this time out, interweaving multiple plot threads and narrative voices, and while her stylistic choices do not always result in easy reading (the same stream-of-consciousness style that makes Saba's voice so effective can be awkward when describing Jack's actions in the third person), her immersive storytelling will lure readers deeper into this dangerous, starkly lovely terrain. Ages 14–up. Agent: Gillie Russell, Aitken Alexander.

  • AudioFile Magazine At the end of BLOOD RED ROAD, Saba rescues her brother, kills a friend out of mercy, and parts ways with her heart's desire, Jack. All of these haunt her in this dystopian sequel--plus she has a price on her head. Narrator Heather Lind continues to maintain suspense as Saba struggles externally with her ungrateful twin and internally with her nightmares and self-doubt. A new character adds comic relief, and Lind makes use of her wide vocal range to fully flesh out the supporting cast. In print this middle book is a long, dusty journey filled with disparate and disagreeable villains. Lind adds a crackling energy like the static charge of an approaching storm to keep the action--and the listening--unstoppable. M.M.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
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Rebel Heart
Rebel Heart
Dust Lands Series, Book 2
Moira Young
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