In Veronica Roth's "Allegiant," the third book in her "Divergent" trilogy, the author reveals the truth behind the dystopian society detailed in "Divergent" and "Insurgent," as protagonist Tris Prior confronts the world outside the fence. Here's an excerpt.
I pace in our cell in Erudite headquarters, her words echoing in my mind: My name will be Edith Prior, and there is much I am happy to forget.
“So you’ve never seen her before? Not even in pictures?”Christina says, her wounded leg propped up on a pillow.She was shot during our desperate attempt to reveal the Edith Prior video to our city. At the time we had no idea what it would say, or that it would shatter the foundation we stand on, the factions, our identities. “Is she a grandmother or an aunt or something?”
“I told you, no,” I say, turning when I reach the wall.“Prior is—was—my father’s name, so it would have to be on his side of the family. But Edith is an Abnegation name, and my father’s relatives must have been Erudite, so . . .”
“So she must be older,” Cara says, leaning her head against the wall. From this angle she looks just likeher brother, Will, my friend, the one I shot. Then she straightens, and the ghost of him is gone. “A few generations back. An ancestor.”
“Ancestor.” The word feels old inside me, like crumbling brick. I touch one wall of the cell as I turnaround. The panel is cold and white.
My ancestor, and this is the inheritance she passed to me: freedom from the factions, and the knowledge that my Divergent identity is more important than I could have known. My existence is a signal that we need to leave this city and offer our help to whoever is outside it.
“I want to know,” Cara says, running her hand over her face. “I need to know how long we’ve been here. Would you stop pacing for one minute?”
I stop in the middle of the cell and raise my eyebrows at her.
“Sorry,” she mumbles.
“It’s okay,” Christina says. “We’ve been in here way too long.”
It’s been days since Evelyn mastered the chaos in the lobby of Erudite headquarters with a few short commands and had all the prisoners hustled away to cells on the third floor. A factionless woman came to doctor our wounds and distribute painkillers, and we’ve eaten and showered several times, but no one has told us what’s going on outside.No matter how forcefully I’ve asked them.
“I thought Tobias would come by now,” I say, dropping to the edge of my cot. “Where is he?”
“Maybe he’s still angry that you lied to him and went behind his back to work with his father,” Cara says.
I glare at her.
“Four wouldn’t be that petty,” Christina says, either to chastise Cara or to reassure me, I’m not sure.“Something’s probably going on that’s keeping him away. He told you to trust him.”
In the chaos, when everyone was shouting and the factionless were trying to push us toward the staircase, I curled my fingers in the hem of his shirt so I wouldn’t lose him. He took my wrists in his hands and pushed me away, and those were the words he said. Trust me. Go where they tell you.
“I’m trying,” I say, and it’s true. I’m trying to trust him. But every part of me, every fiber and every nerve, is straining toward freedom, not just from this cell but from the prison of the city beyond it.
I need to see what’s outside the fence.
Excerpted from "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth. Copyright © 2013 by Veronica Roth. Reprinted by permission of Katherine Tegen Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.