ARC, BOOK REVIEW, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron | ARC Review

43245862Title:Kingdom of Souls

Author: Rena Barron

Series: N/A #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance


Publication date: September 3rd, 2019

Pages: 496

My rating: img_1498



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.


“I once laughed at stories about demons, and now I know that one may walk in my shadows. She does not mean well.”

I was so excited to read this book because I’ve been hearing amazing things about it and a lot of people have been talking about Kingdom of Souls lately so I was super intrigued, not only by the cover but by the premise. And overall I have to say that there were some elements that I really enjoyed about it but there was some thing about the pacing and the plot of the book that made it dragged a lot and made my enjoyment of it lower.

One of the reasons why I gave this book 3 stars was because of the pacing. The first half of the story was so interesting I was so intrigued by the plot and the magical elements of the book and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, even though I was a bit confused by everything that we learned so far, but the other half of the story was so slow and I felt not much was happening.

My main issue with the story was like I said before, that it was so dense. I don’t consider Kingdom of Souls very big book, but there were a lot of times where I felt the story wasn’t evolving or progressing as I thought it would and we were stuck in the same place. There was a big change in the tone, the plot and the setting of the novel if we compare the very beginning and the second half that it felt as if I was reading a different book, and there were a lot of subplots going on that made Kingdom of Souls seemed dense and very slow start. In my opinion all the stuff happening wasn’t adding anything to the plot, and frankly, I was so bored during the majority of the time because of that. The very beginning of the novel was so intriguing and I was so engaged, but I became less and less invested in the book as I continued with it, till the point of felt so disconnected to it.

However, something that I adore and consider one of my favorite things of kingdom of souls was definitely the mythology and the magic system. I loved how the magic was introduced to the story.

“Don’t get caught in the shadows, for a demon waits to steal your soul. The younger the soul, the sweeter the feast.”

When you come to the characters, I think they were okay but they weren’t my favorite. Some of them were so underdeveloped and could’ve been much more than what was learnt from them. Efia was such an interesting character and I was rooting for her so much when she was firstly introduced, but she was a very a flat character that I ended up pretty disappointed with her. She could have been such an interesting villain but because we almost knew anything about her and her POVs didn’t add a lot to her character arc, she ended up being another plain villain.

The rest of the characters were fine. I definitely really enjoyed the relationship between our main character and her dad, and I think that was such a precious thing to see in the book, and I also really appreciated the friendship and the interactions between the different characters throughout the novel They had very nice and dynamics and I’m just sad that they didn’t hit all the marks for me.

One of the things that I have to add to my review is that I couldn’t care less about the romance. It was very rush and frankly I didn’t see a lot of chemistry between the characters. I mean, I really liked them together and I like their interactions throughout the book, but I just felt that the romance was so underdeveloped.

Overall, I think Kingdom of Souls had so much potential and had such an interesting concept for a book, but the pacing of the plot made my enjoyment lowered quite a lot. I appreciated it so much that it was book with such a diverse cast of characters and that it had that very interesting magical elements and a very in-depth world building, but I would’ve loved to see more of that magic and a more complex plot and characters.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

“Some people can pull magic from the fabric of the world. Some can coax magic to come with rituals and spells. Many can’t call magic at all. It’s a gift from Heka to the people of the five tribes—a gift of himself—but it’s different from everyone.”


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