This book is the second in the Giver Quartet and while this book could stand alone, as can the others, it makes more sense and is more powerful when read with the other three. Kira’s story adds another dimension to Jonah’s dystopian experience and promises more development and adventure. Both take place in the future after some kind of cataclysmic, world-shattering event and seem to fit together somehow, though exactly how is not clear. Kira’s world is more savage and disorderly, with the kind of violent brutality that readers might expect in a story set in medieval times: Deformed people are outcasts, parents slap their children, day-to-day life is meager, dirty, and angry, and villagers are fearful and superstitious. However, as in The Giver, a young person with special qualities emerges as the hero, and the overriding message is that kindness, honesty, and a selfless use of talent will create a better future for all.