Kingdom of Souls
Author: Rena Barron
Series: Kingdom of Souls #1
Publication Date: 3rd September 2019 (US) 19th September (UK)
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*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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. Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.
This books has such a unique and interesting plot focusing on Arrah, the daughter of two extremely powerful witchdoctors who doesn’t have any magic herself. Following the disappearance of a number of children, Arrah trades years of her life to gain magic in an attempt to discover what is going on and who or what is behind it.
The world-building in this book is truly amazing, there’s so many layers of history and mythology with the war between the Orishas and the Demons, and the differences in beliefs between the tribes and the Kingdom. The story definitely took the angle of ‘history is written by the victors’ so it was really exciting to see the difference in what the characters believed happened in the past vs what actually happened. There were so many plot twists in this story that were just so shocking, although I did guess one of them.
I loved the main character Arrah, she’s such a strong and complex character. The characters of Arti and Efia were also so intriguing, from their motivations for the actions to their complex relationships with Arrah. Also had quite a lot of love for Arti’s backstory and how she became the person she was. However I did feel a lot of the side characters needed to be fleshed out and developed a bit more, although I guess that may happen more in the sequels? I also just didn’t really care much for the main romance of the story.
One thing I didn’t really like was the pacing of the story, the first half moved so slowly and then just so much went on in the second half it was hard to work out what was happening at times.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you thought about Kingdom of Souls in the comments