Today’s book review is another FFBC blog tour post after a little bit of a hiatus from doing them! (I have a fair few coming up soon for you to look forward to). Kingdom of Souls is quite frankly a masterpiece of world building and storytelling and I’m so excited for more to come from Rena Barron!
Read on for my full review and favourite quotes!
Title: Kingdom of Souls
Series: Kingdom of Souls #1
Author: Rena Barron
Publisher: HarperTeen (US) HaperVoyager (UK)
Release Date: 3rd September 2019 (US) 19th September (UK)
Source: eARC provided by the publisher (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased)
‘THERE’S MAGIC IN HER BLOOD.
Okay so… wow. I’d been excited for this book ever since I first saw the US cover reveal because it was screaming as a book I’d love. I was expecting dark magic and royalty off the cover but this book is SO MUCH MORE.
First off, Arrah. Sweet, awesome Arrah. Arrah comes from two tribes brimming with magic, so when she shows no sign of having her own by the age of sixteen she feels terrible about herself. Her father, Oshe, is the most adorable father I’ve ever read and completely adores her regardless. Her grandmother, a Chieftain with super powerful magic, tries to help her to come into her magic as much as she can, but her love for her regardless is clear to see.
The story starts with Arrah and her father attending a tribal ceremony far from where they live currently, and the day after she has magic tests with her grandmother. This is where all the action and intensity starts up as her grandmother can see the future, and what she sees in Arrah’s future scares her – a demon.
With there not being much that could be done, Arrah and her father head home where we meet her mother, Arti. Sadly, her mother is cold and distant with Arrah throughout the majority of the story, she makes it plain that she’s disappointed in her and it was heartbreaking to read. I really felt sorry for Arrah because she seemed to only want the approval of her parents and to make them proud.
The main romance plot is similar to a Romeo and Juliet one, with Arrah’s family hating that of Rudjek’s. Now Rudjek, I loved him. I loved how, as with Arrah, Rena has woven a complicated history into his where he’s so much more than he seems. There’s also another example of romance between their friends which is f/f, a nice addition to the story. The love isn’t just about relationships though, there is an intense focus on family love from start to finish including complicated love such as between Arrah and Arti.
The majority of the story is told from Arrah’s perspective, with other characters having the occasional chapter of their own to make the reader thing more and more. Honestly, I struggled to remember that this was a debut throughout. I loved the way that the story was put together so cleverly, with times where the reader is told more than the characters too. The world building with all of the tribes is intricate and the way that magic intertwines with most peoples’ lives is also smart. Rena even puts gods into the world who carry out questionable things, this book just really keeps you on your toes throughout.
Little bit of a side mention of the covers… At first I was a little disappointed in the UK one, but having read it I’m totally on board with the vibe it gives. The US one is still atmospheric and awesome but I really think this series will be timeless so I’m happy I’ll be getting the UK version, I’ve even got the Goldsboro edition preordered! Just means I need to pick up the US cover some day too…
Ultimately, this was a great read to me. I’m so so excited for the next instalment (especially because the ending really shocked me) and I just full on can’t wait.
My Goldsboro Edition:
About the Author
CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE FFBC BLOG TOUR HERE!
Prize: Win a Kingdom of Souls VIP swag bag – a copy of Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron + swag (US Only)
Starts: 4th September 2019
Ends: 18th September 2019
Will you be getting this?
Feel free to leave a comment or Tweet @LuchiaHoughton!