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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble Conflict - Malorie Blackman
Originally posted at Miss Inga Page.

Malorie Blackman, award-winning author of the Noughts and Crosses series, has recently released her newest book. Playing to one of the many strengths of these prior works, Noble Conflict is set in a dystopian future, after a violent war destroyed everything that formed the world we know today. Kaspar, our protagonist, wants...
Published 12 months ago by Miss Inga Page

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as noughts an crosses
noble conflict is a book for extreme readers. it contains complicated words and is quite dull. Noughts and crosses is amazing and i read all of Malories books. i got a signed copy for this and it says its not suitable for young readers. i can see why. no detail added. for age 14 normal readers or 12 extreme reader. more books like noughts n crosses please Malorie!!!!
Published 6 months ago by langaard


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble Conflict - Malorie Blackman, 1 Dec 2013
By 
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Hardcover)
Originally posted at Miss Inga Page.

Malorie Blackman, award-winning author of the Noughts and Crosses series, has recently released her newest book. Playing to one of the many strengths of these prior works, Noble Conflict is set in a dystopian future, after a violent war destroyed everything that formed the world we know today. Kaspar, our protagonist, wants to join the Guardians - a team dedicated to maintaining the peace against the rebel Crusaders. Inspired by his Guardian parents, Kaspar quickly comes face-to-face with a rebel insurgent. After discovering some horrific truths about the world in which he lives, Kaspar enlists the help of his most trusted colleagues to help to put things right. However, he soon realises that not everything is as it seems.

I will be the first to admit that I picked this novel up purely on the back of the Noughts and Crosses series. I read the whole sequence at least three times as a teenager, and have recently loaned the books to a friend after raving about them to her when I learned that there was going to be a new Blackman novel. Although it has been a few years since I last read the books, and some of the finer details of the plot have slipped my mind, I can still distinctly remember how it made me feel! I loved them, and therefore expected something similar from Noble Conflict.

First things first, Noble Conflict has got an infinitely more masculine feel to it than the Noughts and Crosses novels. Whilst Noughts and Crosses has a strong focus on Sephy and Callum, and the implications of their relationship, Noble Conflict puts the conflict at the very forefront. There is a hint of a romance, and even of a love triangle, but friendship (and doing what is right) comes first. The romance is not a central part of the plot. If anything, it is merely supplementary. Instead of focusing on emotions, Noble Conflict is full of action and suspense, and there was very little time for character-reflection. This made for an exhilarating read, but I would have liked to have had something more. For me, it became a "boy" book.

I did not find Kaspar to be a particularly likeable character. I thought that he was very naive. He did not seem to grasp the consequences of his actions, and relentlessly waded into situations despite his lack of training. He refused to seek advice, or to leave the decisions up to those with more experience, and I found it really annoying. I understand that he was portrayed as having an innate fighting spirit, but considering the narrative takes place over his first weeks of Guardian training, his inability to take a step back was, from my perspective, a major character flaw. I would also have liked to have gained more insight into the relationship of Kaspar and Mac, or, at least, of Kaspar with some of the other trainee-Guardians. Alternatively, I would have liked more knowledge about Kaspar's past. It is true that we learn about what happened to Kaspar's parents, and details about what happened to him thereafter, however discussion of the past seemed very distant - perhaps this was intentional. I would have felt a much deeper connection to Kaspar if he had let his guard down at some point before the final pages - when this finally happens. Character development was largely sacrificed in this novel, in order to progress the plot. I'm sure this has been done to engage the target audience, but it felt like there was something lacking.

I was not particularly drawn to this novel until the final quarter. It was interesting enough, but I wasn't exactly gripped. It was an easy read, and one that I think many teenage boys would love. It simply wasn't doing it for me, though... until Blackman began to draw all of the strands together. I knew that there would be a twist and, looking back, the signs were there from the beginning, but the revelation in the final chapters left me reeling. I sat, open mouthed, as everything became clear, and the character connections became apparent. I was horrified... and, at that point, Noble Conflict jumped up in my estimations. Unfortunately, the major plot-twist occurs shortly before the actual conclusion of the book, so it does not have the punchy ending that Noughts and Crosses has. However, because I was still staggered by the events that had happened previously, I raced to the end, and did not care too much that the final pages were slightly weaker.

On top of the many discoveries that Kaspar makes over the course of the novel, Noble Conflict has a really dark feel to it, but remains realistic/believable in the same way as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: if we are not careful, this totalitarian society is a real possibility. Sadly, whilst Blackman's Noughts and Crosses dystopian world felt innovative when it was released in 2001, the world of Noble Conflict felt a little unoriginal: as though it were simply buying into current literary trends.

One word of warning: Noble Conflict does contain some strong language. There are swear words and threats which are not definitely suitable for younger readers. The violent attacks are dealt with realistically, and the injuries, in particular, are described in great detail. Blackman certainly does not sugar-coat anything in order to widen the target audience to a younger reader. Whilst I am pleased that the swearing and graphic violence is not present purely for the shock-factor, nor to have a greater appeal to a male audience, it is definitely something that you should be aware of.

I didn't love the violence, mostly because of the descriptions rather than the events, and would personally have liked to have gained a bit more insight into Kaspar than I received. However, I could appreciate Noble Conflict for what it was. It would be a very good read for a male teenager. Whilst it wasn't as enthralling as Noughts and Crosses, I am glad I have read it. Noble Conflict was not entirely my cup of tea, but it is certainly worth a read. Some elements of the ending are fairly obvious, and it seems as though you have figured everything out... and then Blackman deals the final blow... and for that reason, if for no other, you need to read this book. If you see it coming, you are a far more intuitive reader than I am!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noble Conflict, 12 July 2014
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Paperback)
In a future where nuclear explosions caused shifts in the earth's tectonic plates and made large areas of land uninhabitable society has been split in two. You have the Alliance who have built a protective city to keep their citizens safe, they are all about peace and want to live in harmony but they are under constant attack from the Crusaders who want to steal their city. The Crusaders are the ones who caused the devastation to the land and their actions forced them into a nomadic lifestyle where they are struggling to survive in the dessert.

Kaspar's parents were some of the most respected Guardian's for the Alliance and he wants nothing more than to follow in their footsteps. He has just completed the Guardian training program and is now determined to do whatever it takes to keep the city safe from the Crusader terrorists. It's not easy to fight an enemy who has guns and bombs when you're only allowed to disarm them and not kill them though. Kaspar has spent his whole life wanting to become a Guardian but now he's achieved that goal he starts to realise that not everything is what it first seems and the terrorists may not be quite as bad as he has always been told. When a terrorist saves his life rather than kill him it makes him question everything but uncovering the truth may not be an easy thing to do.

Noble Conflict is a very fast paced story with plenty of twists and turns that will surprise readers along the way. I enjoyed reading the story from Kaspar's point of view, he's a character with a strong sense of right and wrong who refuses to just believe everything he is told when the evidence shows different. He has the brains to question his orders and the courage to investigate the issue. It's very hard for him to know who to trust but he does have friends who are willing to risk everything and help him. I don't want to say too much about what happens but this is the kind of story that makes you question things and ask yourself what you would do in Kaspar's situation. Would you be brave enough to make a stand against injustice when you know it would put your life at risk? Would you be willing to trust someone you've always been told is your enemy just because she saved your life once?

One thing I would have loved would have been more information about Rhea, the terrorist who saved Kaspar's life. I would have enjoyed seeing more about the way the Crusaders lived outside of the city and perhaps had some of the story told from Rhea's point of view as she fought for her people. It wasn't a major problem but I do think that would have added something to the story. Overall I found Noble Conflict an enjoyable and fast read and it's one I'd recommend to fans of dystopian fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 25 July 2013
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This review is from: Noble Conflict (Kindle Edition)
Seemed to be a bit short and went in quickly but I suppose that may be because I couldn't put the kindle down. An excellent book and I do recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing dystopian epic, 7 July 2013
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Hardcover)
Yet another totally gripping, epic and amazing work from Malorie Blackman. I cannot recommend this enough to all readers who love Dystopian literature and, in fact, to anyone who loves to read at all! Following the War to end all wars the Alliance are protecting their lands and people by employing a force of highly trained Guardians as a peacekeeping force. Kaspar joins the Guardians following in his parents' footsteps in his wish to protect his fellow citizens from the attacks by the Insurgents from the Badlands. However soon Kaspar begins to suspect that all he has been told about their history and wish to live in peace is not absolutely true. The more he is sucked into trying to understand what has really happened to the Alliance citizens and the Insurgents, the more danger he finds himself in. A really powerful and well written story you won't be able to put down!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, 21 July 2013
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Kindle Edition)
I would suggest this to any reader who enjoyed reading noughts and crosses.
Buy This Book.
It is too good to miss out on.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read but not an 'easy read', 10 Jun 2013
By 
Ruth Goodall "Ru2" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Hardcover)
Having eagerly awaited a new book by Malorie Blackman I was not disappointed. This book has many levels and could simply be read as an exciting futuristic adventure but it is much more than that. It is a thought-provoking read and will appeal to adult readers as well as the Y/A audience. Any book by Malorie is worth reading and this all the more so. I will not spoil anyone's enjoyment of this book by detailing the plot or characters. Read between the lines and make up your own mind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking dystopia that addresses actual problems in society., 7 July 2014
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Paperback)
SYNOPSIS
Set in a future society, there are two groups of people: The expansionist Crusaders and the peaceful Alliance.
By triggering nuclear explosives within the earth in order to shift the tectonic plates and to expand their territory, the Crusaders had destroyed large areas of land, causing most of their people to die. The survivors were forced to live as nomads on the volcanic wasteland they had created.
After their population number has recovered 200 years later, the Crusaders form a group of fighters called the Insurgents to forcefully take the land of the Alliance.

Kaspar Wilding is a graduate of the Guardian Academy, whose job it is to protect the citizens of the Alliance from terrorist attacks of the Insurgents with the use of non-lethal weapons. All his life, he has thought that he was fighting for a good cause, until he meets an Insurgent named Rhea, who saves his life and causes him to question his beliefs.

MY OPINION
The outset of this story is captivating: Blackman depicts a world that is not only gloomy and shaped by the military and a lenghty war, but it also seems realistic. It was interesting to learn more about the conflict that leads adolescents to consider it an honour to serve their people as Guardians. The reader obtains further background information on the conflict between the two cultures through excerpts from fictitious historical texts, which I thought was very well done.

The hero of the story is a 19-year-old orphan named Kaspar who has lived on his uncle’s farm for most of his life. He is sympathetic, because he is ambitious and strong-willed and seeks to accomplish his goals by his own effort. I could relate to him to some extent, but not completey, as he is a male soldier.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel at first. I initially thought that it was a critique on technology and humans tampering with nature. But that’s not the main issue.
In the first half of the book, there is no communication between the two groups and they take no action to end the war. So because I didn’t see the chain of Insurgent attacks leading to anything, it felt like there was no real climax of suspense. However, that changes in the second half of the book.

As more suspicions arise and Kaspar begins to uncover the truth about the Insurgents and the Alliance, things start to get really interesting.
The lines between good and evil begin to blur, and Kaspar realises that life is not guns and roses. The novel is cleverly constructed and thought-provoking to the effect that it makes you question people’s motives for their actions. Who benefits from war and who suffers? Do we actually know what’s going on around us or do we close our eyes to the truth out of convenience? It also encourages readers to look beneath the surface, and to see that not everything that looks harmless at first glance is actually good.

Malorie Blackman’s writing style is smart and engaging: She keeps a fine balance between subtle humour and action-packed scenes. I’m glad that I read the book, and I’ll make sure to read her Noughts & Crosses series next!

If you are looking for a young adult dystopia that addresses actual problems in society instead of losing itself in a pointless romance, look no further.

NOTE: This review can also be found on my blog, bibliophilic geek.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... read it yet but Malorie Blackman's books are always excellent., 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Noble Conflict (Paperback)
Not had time to read it yet but Malorie Blackman's books are always excellent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as noughts an crosses, 21 Jun 2014
This review is from: Noble Conflict (Kindle Edition)
noble conflict is a book for extreme readers. it contains complicated words and is quite dull. Noughts and crosses is amazing and i read all of Malories books. i got a signed copy for this and it says its not suitable for young readers. i can see why. no detail added. for age 14 normal readers or 12 extreme reader. more books like noughts n crosses please Malorie!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Xmas present request, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Noble Conflict (Hardcover)
This book was enjoyed by my 14 year old granddaughter and her friend. Both were excited at the idea of a new Malorie Blackman book. I admit that I read it too but didn't think this was one of her best but I am not the age group it was intended for.
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Noble Conflict
Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman (Paperback - 2 Jan 2014)
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