In a history set in 2187, Lila Howell works as an archival historian. She works for the Security ministry, a part of the New Dawn Government also known as N. D. Her psychic abilities as well as her youth in a Crèche make her a commodity. She takes the autobiographies of those that lived through the passing. While the ministry continues to try to manipulate her, she has vowed she will never use her psychic abilities to hurt anyone. Her recent assignment leaves her concerned and confused. It is a bit unlike her previous orders and signed by three different people, an unusual occurrence.
The woman she is to read is Susanne Newton, a woman in her nineties who worked and helped to found the New Dawn government. Someone is looking for information on the Southern Dragon. This is information suspected to be known by Susanne and is important to someone in the ministry. Lila finds herself intrigued with Susanne from the start. She is charismatic and has lived and amazing legendary life. Susanne is a farmsteader, whose best friend Larissa is with her in the home where she lives. In fact, Larissa has been involved with Susanne over the years, in both fortune and war. The stories from Susanne open her resolve and have her thinking about her own life and relationship with her family.
Second-guessing the quest, she finds that she herself has come under scrutiny by the very government she works for. She is being followed and her every move is being questioned. Who is the one known as the Southern Dragon and why would this very entity also aged into the nineties create such a search effort? Lila finds herself at risk, and yet as she continues her job, the more she learns the less she understands. Can she still get the information and protect Susanne, or will she have to disappear before her very life is no longer of value?
In Brandy Hunt’s Promise Kept, the story is set in a world far in the future — a future that has changed and evolved over the millennium, and yet the farmer, or farmsteaders are those that maintain their freedom. Part of the change and yet able to withstand the winters and changing landscapes, even now they offer both hope and fear for the masses. Hunt’s well-developed characters are endowed with strengths as well as flaws, which draw you to them. They are likable and real, or the alternative, looking out for number one, not caring about others. This is much of what we see every day, and it appears as though humanity remains much the same in this futuristic world.
Lila is a young woman with a gift that is valuable to the government. It lifts her from a life of drudgery, which is what many can only aspire too. The thing that the Ministry does not understand about her is that she has a strong sense of ethics. They can only push her so far. Susanne and her life brings out a spark in her that she did not know was missing.
Susanne herself is a wonderful and charismatic woman, a storyteller. But what interesting and amazing stories she tells. It is easy to forget her age as she brandishes her sword and battles the reevers and other dangers in the earlier times. Her friend Larissa is by her in every instance. Both of them are strong and courageous, something we can all aspire to. The story is interesting and full of love and surprises, with an ending that will invoke envy.
I would have to recommend this book for reading and book clubs. It is both interesting and insightful, a book to grace anyone’s library, especially those that enjoy this genre.