Dystopian Books: The Wind on Fire Trilogy
When lovely Liz asked me to write an article on my favourite dystopian story, one series sprang instantly to mind: the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson.
Starting with The Wind Singer, Nicholson’s trilogy begins in Aramanth; a meritocratic dystopia. The city does offer protection to its citizens relative to the terrible wastelands outside, but it comes at a cost. The society is built on a system structured by relentless examinations. Right from being a baby, every person in Aramanth is ruthlessly tested and their families are awarded a score based on their collective performance. The more you score, the better accommodation, jobs and lifestyle your family is afforded. Your score even dictates what colour clothes you’re allowed to wear.
Reading this book as an over-examined teenager, I instantly sympathised with the Hath family’s hatred of the system. And when leading lady, Kestrel Hath, began to rebel against the society and question the legitimacy of its emperor, I was cheering her on with all my might.
I think this is what great dystopian fiction can do; comment on the society we live in now even if it takes place in a fantastical setting. The Wind Singer really helped to show me that examinations aren’t everything, and to relieve much of the stress I was feeling at the time of reading. If you haven’t already, you should read it right now.
Jack Croxall is a YA author living in rural Nottinghamshire. His best-selling dystopian short story, X, is available now.
Fifteen-year-old X thinks she is going to die. Shacked up in the cellar of an old farmhouse, she starts a journal to document her last few days. Much less than a few days if the things outside manage to get in.
X on Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1a55UnN
X on Amazon US: http://amzn.to/185lNc1