Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
(Kingdom of Souls #1)
September 3, 2019 – HarperVoyager
496 pgs. – Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Edelweiss, Review
To Purchase: Indiebound
I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Summary: Arrah has wanted magic since she was a kid. She is the daughter of two powerful witch doctors, so she doesn’t understand why Heka has ignored her. Now, at this Blood Moon Festival is her last opportunity to be touched by Heka, if he ignores her now she will have to live without magic. Then children start to go missing. Even her mother, the most powerful seer in the tribal lands can do nothing. Arrah decides to risk it all, trading years of her life for magic to help her save the children
My Thoughts: Oh my my my! There is so much that I want to say, and so much that I cannot say because I don’t want to give anything away. That summary is just the tip of the iceberg for this book. There is so much more going on, but it’s not in a confusing way. It unfolds neatly, shock and secrets revealed in a way that you still don’t see the ending coming until you get there.
I really like Arrah as a character. Despite other young girls who are tasked with saving anyone against great odds, Arrah is focused even to the point where she is sacrificing her own desires. And not just in words. While there are times where she gives in to/ acknowledges the attraction to her childhood friend, you don’t find her in the middle of a life or death situation making out with him. She is surrounded by friends that understand and respect the brutality of fighting which makes them that much more deadly.
There is no “chosen one”. Arrah chooses to do what she does because she feels it’s the right thing to do, she is the only one with all of the information and therefore the only one who has any hope of doing anything. But then she learns more and that she is not alone. She may not get help from where she wants it, but help is coming.
The only other thing I can say is that there isn’t any clear villains and heroes, no one is just what they appear to be -whether they know it or not If you are expecting the Orishas to be benevolent and loving gods, than you will be sadly mistaken. Despite their abilities and longevity, they are not wise enough to not repeat their mistakes. In the end, they want the war to end and be over but they don’t want to solve the problem.
There is one thing that happens that doesn’t appear to have a real purpose to the overall story, unless it comes back around later in the series.
This is s a story that is complicated in all the right ways, with characters that pull you in and invest you in the story that unfolds. I am so excited for the next one! There is something else that I want to mention, but I don’t want to give anything away. So stop here if you don’t want to know.
This is the one time that I think a love triangle will work- one that involves 4 people!