Saturday, May 23, 2020

Review: The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes a historical YA fantasy about a musical prodigy and the dangerous lengths she'll go to make history remember her—perfect for fans of Susanna Clarke and The Hazel Wood.

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl's hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

Hardcover, Owlcrate Exclusive Edition, 313 pages

Published 2020 
by G. P. Putnam's Sons
4/5 stars

Make them remember me.

A dark tale of longing to be someone when you live in a male-dominated world. When a girl was told to dream and hope for marriage and children. How frustrating it must have been for Maria Anna (aka Nannerl), talented like her younger brother but stifled because of her gender.

The Kingdom of Back is an interesting world Nannerl created with the promise of being remembered forever. For an 8-year-old her thoughts and an imagination are above her age. It's these dreams that develop and comes to life in a magical and lyrical manner.

I didn't even know of a sister to Mozart, the historical part of this story was a learning experience for me. It was an authentic world that Marie Lu created, how life revolved around the male members of society. Chasing success, Nannerl's father does all he can to promote Wolfgang's talents that left little time to be a child.  But that was the time.

The fantasy part was unique and showed a confused young girl who had to create her only world to hide in and forge her own path no matter the consequences.  

This is my first time reading a Marie Lu book, this is also her first piece of historical fiction.  She is off to a great start, I will be on the lookout for more in this genre.

The Kingdom of Back is part of my 2020 Reading off my Shelf challenge, it was also part of my March Owlcrate box.

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