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The King of Garrick wants to kill her.
The King of Allel wants to love her.
And shapeshifters stole her baby's soul!
It's been a hundred years since sea-level rise and global nuclear war wiped out most of humanity. Mallory is a chalice, one of the world's rare fertile females who contract with the kings of the Concord Cities to provide natural-born heirs.
It was supposed to be a pampered and uneventful life, but Mal becomes caught between King Garrick's scheme for world domination and the goddess Asherah's desperate plays for another god's attention.
In her struggle to survive, Mal must confront the most terrifying threat of all -- the truth of her past and the inevitability of her destiny.
Bleeder is the 3rd book in the Apocalypto series. It's a deep, complex story about a girl named Mallory (Mal) who is a chalice. In this world, there are very few fertile women. If you are lucky enough to have your period, then you are considered a Bleeder and must live in Red City. Here, the girls are well cared for – these are the women that will keep the world population from dying out. Once they reach a certain age, the become a chalice and they are basically sold to the highest bidder to have sex with until they become pregnant. The men who bid on the chalices are princes who are wanting to produce heirs.
It is an honor to these women to become a chalice. It is their duty to keep the human race going. To them, having sex with a prince is just a business transaction. They are trained to not have emotions. They are not supposed to fall in love with a prince. Of course, a person can't fully turned off their feelings, no matter how hard they try.
I had to keep reminding myself that the world is completely different at this point in time. Their way of life is just bizarre to me. For example, these chalices don't have any contact with the children they have – and they don't want to. They are raised to believe it is wrong to have a relationship with the children they produce. They are like machines – they do the deed, produce a child, and move on to the next bidder.
I thought that the first 1/3 or so of the book was a bit slow. It starts off with Mal at age 13, the age where she starts getting her period. She lives on a settlement, and is very filthy and poor. Her whole world changes when she is taken to Red City. There, it is like living in luxury. A romance doesn't blossom until much later in the book. As I've said before, I'm a romance addict. When Mal meets Prince Edmund for the first time, she automatically feels a connection. Later, when she has sex with him, it lacks passion. Besides trying to conceive a baby, they rarely spend any time together. It really was a nice love story in this book, I just wanted more from them.
I found myself confused a lot during this book. There was just a lot of confusing phrases, rules, etc... I also thought there were too many characters to keep straight. The writing was wonderful though, and the author was very imaginative at building this world that is so unlike our own.