Cassia Reyes and her family have been relocated from Oria to the Farmlands of Keya Province. Once there, her parents requested she be sent n a three month work detail because she showed signs of rebellion. In reality, she is beginning her search for Key Markham, the boy she fell in love with instead of her Matched mate and best friend, Xander Carrow. She is nearing the end of her work assignment and will soon be sent back to Central to work in one of the sorting centers for the Society. All of the camps she has been sent to work at are in the Tana Province and she is no closer to Ky and the Outer Provinces than when she started. When the weekly messages are passed out among the girls, Cassia receives on from her family but not from Xander. It is the first time he has missed but the Officer tells Cassia to follow her, she has a communication. Cassia wants to refuse but reluctantly follows. To her surprise, there is no communication. Xander has come for a visit.
Since they no longer live near one another, Xander arranged a face to face visit since all the other Matched couples from their month are having their first meetings. They go into town for to visit the local museum with an Official. Cassia attempts to secretly ask for information and is disappointed at first. Upon trading Ky’s compass, she receives a story that provides clues to the rebellion. Xander is hurt that Cassia chose Ky over him but will be leaving for experience in the Border Provinces before his final work position in Central. He lets Cassia know he will be seeing her again even though she is continuing her search for Ky.Ky Markham and the other aberrations are in the Outer Provinces acting as decoy villagers for the Society in their war against the Enemy. They are supposed to act as farmers and in six months they will receive their Citizen status once again. Ky knows that no one lasts six months, but he is originally from the Outer Provinces. Instead of farming, Ky and another boy named Vick are burying the bodies of their fellow aberrations that have fallen from the days fighting. Soon the Society flies Ky, Vick and the remaining boys to a new location. Ky immediately recognizes the area by its prominent landmark, the Carving, a network of interlocking canyons and mountains. Before Ky can tell Vick why he is suddenly happy, a new kid introduces himself as Eli. Ky is struck by how much he reminds him of Cassia’s younger brother, Bram. Ky and Vick make plans to escape their group and flee into the canyons. At the last minute, Ky decides to take Eli and Vick is upset. Ky feels he has to do or he wouldn’t be the person Cassia thought he was. The boys make their escape into the Carving.
Early the next morning, Cassia is awakened early when the Officers come for the aberrations. One of the girls, Indie, is attempting to run away and Cassia sees her chance to get to the Outer Provinces. She makes it aboard the airship just before the Officers catch Indie. Even though there is one extra girl, they decide it doesn’t matter where they are going. Turns out they are going to a village of boys to act as farmers. Cassia asks the boys if anyone knew Ky but no one answers. A boy in the back of the group locks eyes with her and eventually tells her that he and a boy named Vick left them all to die two nights earlier and headed towards the Carving, twenty-five to thirty miles from there. Cassia asks him to take her there and she will make a trade, some of the blue tablets Xander gave her. Indie goes with her and the three run all night and make it by daybreak. He tells them which way to go takes his payment and goes a different direction.
Cassia knows she is close to Ky and holds out hope that they will both survive and meet again. Will Cassia and Ky find each other in the Carving? Who will survive and who doesn’t? What are the blue tablets really for? Will Cassia be affected when she learns Xander packed her notes about him? Is the rebellion still strong in the Outer Provinces or has it died out? And what happens when Cassia’s world is turned upside down?
Cassia story will be concluded with the final book in the trilogy due out at the end of 2012.
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