Saturday, February 15, 2020

Kingdom of Souls, or, The One Where Everyone Dies (Really, Everyone)


Kingdom of Souls

by Rena Barron

Pages: 496
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019

Cover Comments: This cover is fantastic. I love the font of the title, the clothing the girl is wearing, and her throne-type setting.

First Lines: 
"Be still, Little Priestess.

               GoodreadsδΈ¨ Amazon

Explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend, where one girl must sacrifice her life, year by year, to gain the power necessary to fight the mother she has never been good enough for.

Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, Tomi Adeyemi and Black Panther


Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can't even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.


I was really excited to read this one, thinking the setting and world-building seemed fresh and interesting. And it was. I loved the mythology behind all the events happening in the novel, and the way the plot twists and turns. However, I feel like there was way too much crammed into this one book. There was one "big bad" that seemed to rise and fall much too quickly. Despite the packed nature of the book, the first part dragged on, while the second half seemed too hurried. The set-up for the next book is definitely intriguing, but I think if there had been some more breathing room to develop the characters and delve into the world-building in this one, I'd be more interested in continuing the series.

It was also quite a bummer of a book. The protagonist, Arrah, basically keeps sacrificing more and more and getting knocked down at every turn. The girl just can't win, and there's a ton of loss of major characters in the book. I don't mind a little darkness, but there's gotta be some light too.

I did enjoy the world and characters in Kingdom of Souls, and hope the next installment is a bit more evenly paced.


*Thanks to HarperTeen and the author for the chance to read Kingdom of Souls before its publication date.

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