ARC Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Book cover for The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow.

I received an ARC from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1)
Author: Erin Bow
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Stars: 5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.  

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages. 

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war? 

Goodreads | Book Depository

The Scorpion Rules is a dystopian novel not to be missed. It has got an original concept, a strong female character and really beautiful writing. I recommend that everyone read this book because it is definitely one of the most unique and thought provoking books of this year!

I love the concept of The Scorpion Rules! Basically, all the royal children are taken as hostages. If war begins in their country, the hostages will die. This concept is so original and described so well that the reader can easily visualize the setting and story. Sometimes in a novel, if a concept is so detailed, the book doesn’t live up to my expectations, but Erin Bow pulled off The Scorpion Rules really well! I loved every detail about this wonderfully crafted book.

Greta is a really superb main character for The Scorpion Rules. She knows that she could die at any minute if her parents break the peace, yet she is completely accepting of this fact. Greta doesn’t whine or complain about how difficult her life is, which I really enjoyed about her. She is strong and can take care of herself. I definitely recommend this to fans of books with strong female characters.

One of my favourite things about The Scorpion Rules is Erin Bow’s beautiful writing. Everything is so descriptive and I can easily picture myself in the book. Every character is so well developed, even the side characters! Because of the way it is written, even the dark elements in the book are extraordinary. I actually attended a writing workshop with Erin Bow a few years ago and I can see how her process has really come to life in The Scorpion Rules. I’m sure that everyone will enjoy this jewel of a book!

The Scorpion Rules has a very unique concept, a brave and strong main character, and is written extremely well. This is a must-read for every dystopian fan out there! I can’t wait for this book to come out so I that can fangirl with everyone!

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

  1. Jaime Lynn says:

    This book sounds really good, and I am a huge fan of the cover. I am wary of dystopians because so many of them are so similar,, but this sounds very unique and definitely interesting. I am going to have to check it out!

  2. sydneyeditor1 says:

    When I first saw this, I immediately thought of Hunger Games — which kinda threw me off it a bit. Is it similar in any way?

    • Candid Cover says:

      I actually didn’t see any similarities between the two books. The synopsis does sort of make it seem like The Hunger Games, but the only similarity I could find was the survival aspect. I loved this book and hope you do too! 🙂

  3. Olivia Roach says:

    I am so glad to know you were able to enjoy this book so much! I know I have been hearing about it quite a bit, but no one has mentioned the beautiful writing before. I am someone who falls in love with that kind of writing, so it makes me happy to know you have been able to enjoy it :3 I’ve also been having a hard time finding some dystopian that keeps me intrigued, so I look forward to this one.

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