The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture--where only the queen may breed and any deformity means death--in which a devout young worker bee finds herself in possession of a deadly secret and becomes a hunted criminal whose decisions will mean life and death for her entire hive.Born into the lowest class of her rigid, hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an untouchable fit only to clean and remove the bodies of the dead from her orchard hive. As part of the collective, she is taught to accept, obey, serve--work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of her beloved queen the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden, and all thoughts belong to the hive mind.But Flora is not like other bees--a difference that holds profound consequences. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. 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 when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all--daring to challenge the queen's fertility--enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society--and will lead her to unthinkable deeds.Part parable, part coming-of-age story, part pure page-turner, 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.
- 155 x 165 x 33mm | 318g
- 06 May 2014