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Tortured: A Bridge Story Between Birthmarked and Prized
Released:  2011
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Series: Yes, 3 books & 2 novellas
Shelfable: YES!
Rating: ★★★★☆

Ruled: A Bridge Story Between Prized and Promised
Released:  2012
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Series: Yes, 3 books & 2 novellas
Shelfable: YES!
Rating: ★★★★☆

This review assumes you have read the first and second books, Birthmarked & Prized.  If you haven’t, please note there are spoilers in this book and this review for Birthmarked & Prized. 

If I ever meet the author, Caragh O’Brien, I have a fight to pick with her.  These bridge stories were TOO SHORT!  Both books would have received a five if they were longer.

While Tortured is my favorite of the two, they both give a glimpse into the mind of Leon.  I was hoping they would explain some of his odd behavior in the main novels, but I just found myself hungry for more.  Tortured bridges the gap between the end of Birthmarked, where Gaia sets out to the wasteland and Leon is captured by the Enclave.  Tortured goes back to Leon in prison and shows what he had to deal with after Gaia left the Enclave.  These events are only briefly talked about in the main novels, so I found this bridge story to be extremely helpful to explain Leon’s mindset and appearance.

Meanwhile, Ruled looks at Leon’s thought process while Gaia is overseeing the people of Sylum to prepare for the long trek across the wasteland.  I felt Leon’s thought process wasn’t fully explained in Ruled and it left me hungry for more.

My recommendation would be to read these books in the order they chronologically occur:
Birthmarked
Tortured
Prized
Ruled
Promised

The bridge stories fit perfectly with the main storyline and while other series novellas attempt to retell the same events from a different point of view, Tortured and Ruled explores the gap in time between books and offers a quick look at Leon’s point of view while still giving the reader a fresh (albeit short) storyline.

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