Kindom of Souls by Rena Barron

Title: Kingdom of Souls
Author: Rena Barron
Publicist: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


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.

With it’s dark plot and lush world building, Kingdom of Souls is a book that had me completely enthralled with it’s story.

Right off the bat I was impressed with the writing in Kingdom of Souls. It has a very rich and beautifully tone to it. I kept thinking I really like these words, I don’t even know what that means myself. Also there is a lot of world building that is based around a magic system and mythology of different Orisha.

Oh Arrah. I liked her as the main character but she also frustrated me at times. Why can’t she see how magic doesn’t make her. She’s pretty awesome if she has it or doesn’t have it. She’s not afraid of doing the right thing or fighting for it. It doesn’t matter to her what she has to go up against and values others lives over her own. I love the rich culture that is her background and how she honors it. I also loved seeing how much her character changes throughout the story but really does keep her core values. Whatever happens and what she must do, Arrah is still Arrah in her heart and I really like that about her.

I love Rudjek. He isn’t the guy coming in and feeling like he needs to save or protect Arrah. Of course he wants to do that because he deeply cares about her but he sees her for how strong she is. He trusts her and he is also so so supportive of her. Even at times when she leaves things out and realizes that he would support her no matter what she does. They don’t get caught up in petty arguments. Why didn’t you tell me this, because I thought you’d hate me. Oh ya I can see that you had good intentions here. I love that!! There is plenty of other drama in the book besides all that silliness. Plus they have a long established relationship so nothing is coming out of nowhere. Everything about their friendship is genuine.

There is a part with him that bothered me. Not because of him because he is a victim in it too, I just wasn’t sure why it needed to be in the story.

So the plot is a lot. It kind of amazed me when I finished reading that this is only the first book because so much happens. Also it is a lot darker than I was expecting. In a good way, I found the whole story intriguing and it’s divided into parts so you are not overwhelmed with how big of a book this is. I loved all the mythology and stories weaved throughout and I thought having some of the Orisha’s perspectives at times was helpful to keep me from being confused about who they are. Lots of times when it’s mythology I don’t know as well, I get names and purposes mixed up. I think giving the Orisha’s that more sense of a rounded character helped out. I think it also helped me to understand the magic system better. Each tribe has their own unique footprint.

There are times where I thought the story had some slow points. I understood that things needed to be done, in order to get them where they are going next. I also though felt like okay I’m ready for the next action. Again, so much stuff pack into one book. I can’t believe that it was all in there and executed so well.

Also a great crew of side characters! I love a story that has strong supporting characters that have purpose. I’m not going to get into all of them but just everyone with their roles to play. Some I don’t think had as much limelight as they could but I’m sure they will shine some more in the future books.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Kingdom of Souls book because I’m still reeling from the first book.

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French. Follow her at @renathedreamer and

Rena prefers not to be tagged in reviews to save her sanity.

She is represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.

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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
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