Title: Kingdom of Souls
Author: Rena Barron
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: September 3rd 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.
Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.
There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.
She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.
My Rating: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: I received this copy from the author as a part of the travelling book for Kingdom of Souls, all opinions are my own.
Thank you to Rena Barron and her assistant Jen for organising such an awesome traveling book and for letting me take part!
Trigger warnings in which I took from Rena’s review on Goodreads: The story includes blood magic, an intentional infliction of self-injury in a ritual, challenging familial relationship, death of a child, death in battle scenes, mention of animal sacrifice (not on page), animal possession, and mind manipulation.
This ARC copy is absolutely gorgeous and I was so excited to dive into this, all current reads got put on hold so I could devour it! I started off this a little slow as I was so busy but last night I had over 200 pages left and even though I was tired I was not going to bed until I finished it!
To begin with Kingdom of Souls gave me slight Children of Blood and Bone vibes but that soon passed and the plot became very interesting. Arrah, our main character, was born into a family of very powerful witchdoctors but each year she fails to get her ancestral powers and her mother is constantly showing her how much of a disappointment she is to her.
Until children are mysteriously going missing and Arrah is determined to find out who is behind it once her friend Kofi goes missing when his bodyguard leaves his post just for a moment. But to do so she must go through the last resort to get magic by doing a trade. Years of her life, for magic, but to Arrah, it’s worth the risk. Except instead of just finding the children, Arrah has discovered an even worse problem. The Demon King, he’s been imprisoned for many years and now he’s stirring and someone is helping to unleash him and Arrah turns to magic again to pay another price to try and stop him. I don’t want to give too much away because there’s a huge twist that’s not mentioned in the synopsis which got me shook and I was not expecting it!
This story is incredible, the world building is just amazing and I’m in love with the plot, characters and Rena Barron’s writing! I was never bored throughout the book though there are parts where there’s no action but because of the world building etc. it just made it even more amazing to me and I feel that this book is worth all of the hype that it’s been getting! I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, I just feel in love and I so desperately want the second book in my hands now! I’m definitely going to be getting myself a finished copy of this book at some point once it’s been released.
For me, I don’t think that there were any downsides in this book. I ended up flying through it as I just couldn’t put it down, the ending just shocked me and I did not see it coming whatsoever and it’s made the wait for the second book even worse because I need to know what’s going on next!!
Overall, this is an amazing story, the plot is gripping, the characters you just get attached to and the world building is immense, I highly recommend it and I know for a fact that I will be rereading this book one day closer to the second books release! What are you waiting for? Go and preorder this book!