Prized (Birthmarked Trilogy)

Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Birthmarked, so I was really excited to read Prized, and I wasn't disappointed! While the feel of the two books differs quite a bit, they both still have Gaia, and they both still center around some very amazing women...and powerful women.In Prized, Gaia has left her home and is now in Sylum. Sylum is completely different than the world she knew before. First, the women are the ones in control, and the leader is a woman. In Sylum, women aren't only in control. They are valued because the men far outnumber them, and as a new member of the society, being a midwife and being a woman, Gaia is highly valued. It seems as if Gaia should have more freedom in this new place, but that couldn't be further from the truth. There are very strict social structures to abide by, and Gaia is pressured and looked at in ways that she never thought she was before.As to Leon's whereabouts, and his status...well, I can't tell you that. You're just going to have to read Prized to find out. If I told you I'd just spoil it for you after all, but I'll give you at least a taste...Gaia does mention him, more than once...but I won't tell you if that's all the input he has in the story. :P Even without her feelings Leon, Gaia would have found herself in a pretty twisted love situation. Not only does she still think about Leon, but she also has two brothers who are both interested in her. It gets pretty dramatic, and complicated...and it will definitely keep you on your toes.Birthmarked was an amazing beginning to this series, but Prized holds its own and offers a completely different view of the world, and of Gaia. Being placed in such a different society shows the reader a whole new side of Gaia, and she is challenged in a variety of new ways. I've read in reviews that some people have read Prized before Birthmarked, or without even planning on reading it, and I think you definitely could. You get a lot of history in Prized, without it being redundant though, which is so nice, but I'd recommend reading Birthmarked...if only to get to see lots and lots of Leon. ;) If you loved Birthmarked, Prized will probably surprise you because it certainly feels like a very different story, but once again, you will be captured by the story, and I hope that you will be satisfied, just like I was.