The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut.
Born into the lowest class of a restrictive, class-based society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, an Untouchable fit only to clean and remove the bodies of the dead in her ancient orchard hive. As part of the collective, she is taught to Accept, Obey, Serve -to work and sacrifice for her sisters and her beloved holy mother, the Queen. She is forbidden to question; her thoughts belong to the Hive Mind. But Flora is not like other bees -a difference that holds profound consequences.
While mutant bees are instantly destroyed, circumstances threatening the hive's survival have forced exceptions to the hierarchy, sparing Flora and offering her unexpected opportunities. Removed from sanitation duty, she is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police who diligently guard against mutation and deformity; to the high priestesses, bees born of highest kin who jealously guard the Hive Mind; to the Drones, loutish royal knights whose sole purpose is to mate. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all-daring to challenge the Queen's TK-her instinct to serve and sacrifice is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will lead to the unthinkable ...
Part parable, part coming-of-age story, Laline Paull's chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world that is simultaneously foreign and utterly familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, The Bees is the story of a strong-willed heroine who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 01 / 2015
- 130 x 197mm