Sephy is a Cross - a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought - a 'colourless' member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.
The two have been friends since early childhood. But that's as far as it can go. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and mounting terrorist violence, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger . . .
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An inspired take on Romeo and Juliet, Blackman's absorbing but alarming novel deals with themes of racism and prejudice without ever coming across as didactic. Unforgettable - Independent
Stimulating and emotionally satisfying - Financial Times
A gritty read for older children . . . At times this is a beautiful love story; at other times it is a harrowing and moral tale. Narrating believably through the voices of two teenagers, Malorie Blackman has written an incredible novel that is as heart-rending as it is provocative. I had to read it all in one sitting, and I challenge any reader not to do the same - Bookseller
This epic tome packs some powerful political punches to which readers will undoubtedly respond. But Blackman never compromises the story, which is dramatic, moving and brave - Guardian
Inter-racial teenage love has never been more painful - The Times
MALORIE BLACKMAN has written over fifty books and is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. Malorie has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. In 2005 she was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to children’s books, and in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature. She has been described by The Times as ‘a national treasure’. Malorie Blackman is the Children’s Laureate 2013–2015.