“The Suffering helps build compassion and unity among our people…. By transferring pain and sadness into the souls of those with the greatest aptitude for empathy, we ensure the happiness and prosperity of the .”
North to Nara is the first book in the Crimson Sash Series and debut novel by Amanda Marin. It is quite an original YA dystopian romance, with sci-fi elements, fantasy, suspense, action, adventure, and clever world building.
Neve Hall lives in a seemingly Utopian society where civil servants keep the society prosperous and united. “Nation First” is every citizens pledge, and they are expected to put the nations ‘needs’ even ahead of their own. Citizens in good standing have the privilege of attending The Centre for Compassion every week, where a Sufferer (a professional empath) will ‘take’ the pain and sadness from the individual, replacing it with strength- the whole process is done anonymously. But what happens when her ‘regular’ Sufferer is replaced? What happens when Neve discovers the identity of her new Sufferer? What happens when she begins to understand what he endures in the name of the nation? And what happens when feelings get involved- especially in a society where love isn’t allowed for all citizens? So, what happens when she begins questioning everything she thought she knew/believed? This story is well worth the read to find out.
This was a great debut novel, with an intriguing storyline and interesting characters. The cover is beautiful and immediately drew me to the book. It was a little slow in parts, and there were places that felt like a bit of an info dump. But this didn’t detract to much from my overall enjoyment of the story. I did enjoy the story and will definitely read the rest of the series. I look forward to seeing what else Ms. Marin can do.
Thank you, Ms. Marin!
Reviewed by @angelahayes