Synopses & Reviews
In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage — if a war begins, they pay with their lives.
Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis's strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.
The system has worked for centuries. Parents don't want to see their children murdered.
Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. Hes a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives — and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.
Then Elian's country declares war on Greta's and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to save them.
"Masterful, electric prose... Bow delivers a knockout dystopian novel that readers will devour with their hearts in their mouths." School Library Journal, Starred Review
"Bow has crafted a true sci-fi narrative around the AI premise, utilizing an imaginative world and well-developed characters. Through Greta's conflicts, the author explores what it means to be human." Booklist
"This is a smart, compelling read that explores the complicated nature of love, family, peace, war, and technology; fans of Johnson's Summer Prince and Collins's Hunger Games who are searching for an empowering and intelligent read-alike need look no further." The Horn Book Magazine
"This is fearfully superlative storytelling — electrical tension crackles in every elegant word. The finest fiction I've read this year." Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity
"Slyly humorous, starkly thought-provoking, passionate, and compassionate — and impeccably written to boot: not to be missed." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Bow's amoral artificial intelligence overlord is one of my favorite characters in a while.” Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Boys
“Clever and unexpected, THE SCORPION RULES is a game-changing novel about the consequence of war and the brutality of peace. Unforgettable!” Suzanne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Program series
About the Author
Erin Bow is the author of The Scorpion Rules, which received three starred reviews; the author of the acclaimed Russian-flavored fantasy Plain Kate, which received two starred reviews and was a YALSA Best Book of the Year; and the terrifying YA ghost story Sorrow’s Knot, which received five starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year.