Reviews

8 Reasons You Should Read Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barren

*Spoiler free*

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.

I feel like this book came out of nowhere for me. I didn’t know about it and suddenly excitement for it was everywhere I looked online. Plus, once I found out what it’s about I was even more intrigued. A girl yearns for magic of her own in a family of powerful witchdoctors. Children are going missing and a Demon King is stirring. It sounded like something that would be right up my alley, so I was eager to read it! Trigger warnings: violence, sacrifice, blood magic, and parental abuse

I’m trying out something new with this review! I did this with Slay and really enjoyed it, so it will probably become a more frequent thing! There are some books that I just don’t mesh with, simply because they aren’t for me. A lot of the times, it’s kind of hard for me to pin down a particular reason. Maybe it was the writing style, maybe the world was just a bit off for me. I don’t want to try and force myself to squeeze out words about a book I felt kind of meh about. Instead, I want to highlight what I did like. Just because I didn’t love a book doesn’t mean you won’t! I might not have fallen completely in love with Kingdom Of Souls, but I do think it’s a book a lot of people will like. And there were aspects I did love! So, here’s 8 reasons you should give Kingdom Of Souls a try.

1. The main character – Arrah is a heck of a character. She’s fierce, she’s determined, and she’s incredibly strong. But she also yearns for magic and feels like a disappointment to her family. She felt so human and this made her actions and feelings all the more striking.

2. The world – This world felt incredibly rich and it was intricately written. I want to describe it more, but really it’s a feeling I have about it. It feels warm and vivid and vibrant.

3. Best friends-to-lovers – Oh yeah, one of my favorite tropes was features in this book and oh was the pining and loaded looks abundant. There’s angst and there’s sweet moments and it’s just a great relationship between these two characters.

4. Demons – There’s demons in this book! I don’t want to say too much lest I step into spoiler territory, but just know that the demons are definitely a reason to pick up this book. They’re fascinating.

5. Finicky gods – Everything is not as it seems and the complications that arise are wonderfully entangled.

6. Family – I love complicated family relationships and this book takes that to the next level. Sometimes familial love is painful. Sometimes family is just painful because they’re family. The way family plays into this book feels like a sharp ache. It causes Arrah a lot of pain, but I felt like seeing her grapple with it was really well done.

7. An amazing magic system – I loved the magic system in this book! Magic has a price, and the price is steep. The magic in this book is vibrant and golden, but at the same time it’s dark and dangerous. It depends on who’s using it and for what. Both can exist, which I really liked.

8. The ending – The plot twist at the end. Calling it a plot twist doesn’t seem to do it justice. Really, it’s the way the Barren uses plot and basically crafts this story. It’s a really, really great scene and I loved how it came about and played out. And the way the book ended was really well done as well. It questions everything that has happened, sets up what can happen next, and leaves the characters of the precipice, ready to go through more in the sequel. It was such a great way to end this book.

And there you have 8 reasons you should try out Kingdom Of Souls! It has such a rich world, wonderful plot, and Arrah is an amazing main character. It will leave you heartbroken and extremely eager for the next book. I might not have fallen completely in love with it, but I believe a whole lot of people will!

You can add Kingdom Of Souls on Goodreads and order a copy of your own!

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