Moira Young – Blood Red Road (Dust Lands)


publisher: McElderry Books
published 2011
pages: 459

Book on Amazon


To escape, she will have to fight.

To survive, she will have to lead.

Saba’s world is shattered when her twin brother, Lugh, is captured by four cloaked horsemen. Determined to rescue him, Saba sets off into the lawless, wasted landscape left behind by the Wreckers. It’s a brutal world where Saba discovers some surprising things about herself: She is a fierce fighter, a cunning opponent, and above all, an unbeatable survivor. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang girl warriors called the Free Hawks, Saba is off to save her brother – and maybe her whole world.

In (Very) Short:

+ post apocalyptic, dystopian novel
+ fast paced story
+ a heroine that I could not identify with but that I learned to respect
+ an annoying but loveable little sister who is more fierce and tough than anyone could have expected
– had to get used to the language and the missing quotation marks

My Opinion:

When Saba’s twin brother Lugh is captured, she sets out to rescue him. Followed by her stubborn little sister, who Saba would have loved to leave behind and die, she faces the world beyond her home.

On her way to her brother she learns to survive, to trust her fighting instincts (the Red Hot) and to accept help.

Saba is not the most sympathetic character when we meet her. She is narrow-minded, stubborn, has anger management issues and the only important thing in her life is her twin brother.

She would walk over dead bodies to save him including her little sister Emmi’s, who she hates. This feeling between the sisters is mutual and the only reason they stick together is to fin Lugh.

Although I understand that Saba is annoyed by Emmi (the child never does what she is told), Saba is supposed to be the grown up. But she cannot control her dislike for her little sister. Instead of trusting Emmi’s instincts – something I as a reader was willing two do after the first incident – Saba ignores and berates her.

Despite my initial reluctance to identify or at least like Saba, I learn to respect her. She tries hard to change and trust people, although it could potentially bite her in the butt.

The dynamic between the main characters is quite obvious and almost a little stereotypical. Yet the mystery surrounding Jack makes me question his true intentions. Throughout the story little hints and tidbits where left, which made me wonder how he fits into the whole picture.

Although the story is closed, there are many cliffhangers for further installments. What is the role of the mysterious Demalo, what will happened to the country now, what is Jacks true motivation, what will happen to the Free Hawks and the Raiders?

Bottom Line:

I had a lot of difficulties getting used to the language and the missing quotation marks. I have played with the thought of interrupting the book because it was so distracting to me. But I am very glad I didn’t do that. This book is an interesting take on the dystopian, post apocalyptic genre, with a heroine that I felt ambivalent towards and a story that left many questions open. Rebel Heart here I come.


rating 4


One thought on “Moira Young – Blood Red Road (Dust Lands)

  1. Pingback: End of Year Review | Franzi's Book Chase

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