Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Jillian Boehme
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.
When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review.
All opinions are my own!
This book caused me to learn something about my bookish self.
I am picky when it comes to standalone fantasies.
Why? Because I think it’s hard to give everything a fantasy book needs laid out to make it feel whole by the time it ends. A fantasy needs strong world-building, an explanation of magic systems and more. I thought this was missing a lot of that plus a lack of character depth (with main and side characters).
The Stolen Kingdom started off pretty strong. The premise wasn’t wholly unique, but it seemed to have a flair I could get behind. I liked Maralyth as a main character. She was strong-willed and may have had to go with things she didn’t approve of, yet made the right decisions when it came down to it. I saw her in her role by the end.
Alac was a love interest I enjoyed. He wanted to change his kingdom for the better and was open to listening and working with his perceived enemies to do so. I wish there would have been more to Alac and Maralyth’s romance sub-plot. It was charming watching them together and I wanted to see the banter and tender pages.
It was an enjoyable story for a standalone. Even when I think it was missing deeper aspects, it delivered likable characters and a nifty, yet simple, magic system to follow. It would be an enjoyable read for younger YA audiences too.
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- Language: little to none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: physical, poison, loss of loved ones, murder