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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls

by Rena Barron
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   Format: Kindle, ARC

   Published:  Sept. 3rd 2019 by HarperCollins

   Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, YA

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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.


Arrah’s story begins as an omnipresent tale is woven into a tapestry of heritage, hope and belonging. From a family of tradition and affluence, Arrah struggles to live up to her family’s expectations and is constantly lead towards temptation, out of helplessness and out of self-preservation; but every lure has a price.

“But hope is a fleeting thing when met with repeated failure.” (loc. 623)

In a universe of Orishas and Demons, Arrah must be fearless. In a world of magic and anti-magic, she must find her own way and in a nation of family and politics she must find loyalty. Kingdom of Souls sets us on a path of love and fury with a kick of a twist.

“But for there to be peace, there must be death.” (loc. 6130)

With our twists, the pace quickens as if the excitement couldn’t be contained. I enjoyed taking time to understand how to pronounce (at least in my head,) the different names and customs of this refreshing culturally-rich story. I felt like I could easily envision what the author painted for us, and could even sense the smells of the spices and alleys of the marketplace, the cool fresh water of the riverside and even the aromatic stuffiness of her father’s shop. 
       I loved learning about Arrah’s culture and journey, and would’ve loved for the pace to have been more gradual so I could savor the intensity of the moment. In all reality, I just didn’t want the book to end! I would absolutely recommend Kingdom of Souls for those looking for a refreshing fantasy of new paranormal ideologies, as well as for anyone interested in a good diverse universe. If you love The Children of Smoke and Bone, and the Shadow and Bone trilogy, you’ll be all over this! A fantasy that brings us to new worlds, ideas and all-around new high, Kingdom of Souls should be next on your to-read list.

Galley provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

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