Noble Conflict Hardcover – 6 Jun 2013
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"As ever, for Blackman, story is king. The dialogue is vivid, inclusive, full of energy and ribald humour . . . her legions of fans have a treat in store" (Guardian)
"A tense plot, convincing world and sassy dialogue demonstrate exceptional storytelling skill" (Nicolette Jones Sunday Times)
"Blackman is a terrific storyteller whose strongly drawn characters thrill young readers and draw them into dilemmas about love, loyalty, truth and violence" (The Times)
"Expertly plotted and well-paced, Noble Conflict also touches on telepathy and the ability to turn memory into reality" (Independent)
"Malorie's back with a new novel exploring love, violence, trust and betrayal . . . highly anticipated" (Fiona Noble The Bookseller)
The gripping new novel by award-winning Malorie Blackman, author of the bestselling Noughts & Crosses sequence.See all Product description
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The reader is launched straight into the conflict between the Alliance and the Insurgents. This makes you question why this conflict is occurring and who are the key players, so you become absorbed by the story as you try to fit the pieces together.
This is what Noble Conflict is all about – putting the conflict frist. There may be a hint of a relationship, but it is a supplementary plot – friendship and doing the right thing are important here. Noble Conflict focuses on creating suspense and action, leaving little time for character development.
Personally, Kasper did not seem a likeable character, he appeared to be naive and unwilling to take a step back; as well as never really learning from his mistakes – which as a guardian is a major flaw. Also insights into his relationships with the other characters – the other guardians, Mac and Rhea- were limited. Moreover I could have felt more sympathy for Kasper in the final scenes if I had known more about Kasper’s relationship with his parents.
Rhea, on the other hand, was a more interesting character. While information about Rhea is limited, it is her mystery which appeals to the reader.
Noble Conflict is written with such detail that it is easy to imagine the world Kasper lives in. This enables Blackman to provide thought-provoking material, while being an interesting read.
Readers of Malorie Blackman should enjoy this book, however if you are new to this author I suggest you start of by reading the superb Noughts and Crosses series.
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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