Prized by Caragh M O'Brien

Prized (Birthmarked Trilogy, #2) (Birthmarked Trilogy (Hardcover), #2)

by Caragh M O'Brien

Having escaped from the corrupt Enclave, Gaia ventures into the wasteland with her baby sister, Maya, hoping to find a settlement that's rumoured to lie in the Dead Forest. After days of travelling, Gaia is close to death when Peter, a ranger from the mysterious village of Sylum, finds her and takes her back with him. Gaia soon realises that Sylum has as many strict laws as the Enclave she fled from, but when Maya is taken from her by the ruthless village leader, the Matrarc, Gaia is forced to stay and submit to their strict social code, or risk losing her sister forever.

But Sylum is in trouble. The population is falling and the amount of women dwindling dramatically, and with a deadly fever affecting striking down anyone who tries to leave, the future is bleak for the village. Desperate to escape with her sister, Gaia is determined to uncover the secrets of the village, whatever it takes.

And when Leon is captured too, Gaia is faced with another tough choice between the boy who captured her heart in the Enclave, and Peter, for whom she can't deny her growing feelings. But when the decisions you make affect the lives of everyone around you, how can you be sure you're making the right choices?

Reviewed by Mackenzie on

5 of 5 stars

Blog Review:

Oh, Mrs. O’Brien. You never cease to amaze me. I’ll admit, although I loved the first one, I was hesitant to read this next one based on the synopsis. I wasn’t sure that that the two books would…connect, considering this one is dealing with a new dystopia. However, this book is amazing! And the author did an amazing job of bringing these two books together.

This takes place two weeks after the ending of Birthmarked. Gaia and her baby sister Maya have been traveling in the Wasteland trying to find her grandmother in the Dead Forest. However, this brings her to another dystopic society, one just as crazy as the one she left behind. It’s up to Gaia to maneuver through this society and learn to stick up for what she believes is right.

Prized deals with many moral and ethical issues and really makes the reader think. These books focus on life and the hardships of it and how different people react to it. This story brings to mind the questions, “Should you do anything in order to live? Or are some things worth fighting, and possibly dying, for?” Gaia has had so much loss in her life and she just wants to be accepted. In Sylum, Gaia becomes part of the ruling class and even catches the eyes of two brothers. That’s right, she’s now got three guys vying for her attention. And just like Gaia, “she’d heard of love triangles. But love squares?” Personally, I loved this new take on romance. It was kind of amusing. You have the oldest brother Will, his younger brother Peter, and Leon. Which one, which one….guess you’ll have to read to find out ;)

The characters were amazing. Gaia, who became so strong in the last book, begins to teeter a bit, trying to decide what to do. Does she accept the new life, or defy it? Will who’s amazingly sweet, kind, warm, and sarcastic. The younger brother, Peter, who is in many ways like his brother, with a bit of a more rebellious streak in him. And then Leon (who I’m totally rootin for) that goes through many changes, but I understand why and still love him. I also love Norris. He’s a bit hard on the outside but is such a sweet guy and becomes almost like a father figure to Gaia. Then there’s your really crazy leader who has some crazy voodoo over her people and thinks what she is doing is completely right.

Here is a book that can make you both agree and disagree with the society. It makes you understand both sides of the story and allows the reader to make the choice. I absolutely love this book and recommend it to everyone.

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 3 December, 2011: Finished reading
  • 3 December, 2011: Reviewed