So I finished Kingdom of Souls by @renathedreamer. It was most definitely a high octane, action packed epic that I struggled to put down once I started. Thank you again to Harper Collins and Rachel for sending me an early copy 😊
The novel is inspired by West African mythology and focuses on the character of Arrah who has been born into an elite family of witch doctors that possess incredible power. However, Arrah isn’t one of the lucky ones in her family as she for some odd reason possesses not even a pinch of magic. Things in the novel take a drastic turn when her grandmother receives a premonition of the “green-eyed demons” who were thought to have been killed. To make matters worse, young children are disappearing left, right and centre and no one knows how. To save the kingdom from the inevitable, Arrah takes matters into her own hands and sacrifices her years of life to gain magic and the upper hand over the demons.
Going into this novel I didn’t know what to expect but the deeper I delved into the world Rena Barron created no sooner was I sucked in like a whirlwind. The novel was engaging, intense and at no point did I know which direction the story would take next. There were so many unpredictable twists and turns and the execution of them were brilliant. The world building was also full of depth ranging from different gods, demons, and magic.
I also really liked the different range of characters and Arrah for one was fantastic. As a reader you can’t help but get drawn into her situation and sympathise with her. All she wants to do is to be stronger and protect the ones she loves. The side characters also had a lot of substance and weren’t just there for the hell of it. Her friendship with Rudjek for example was really nice but also gave me a “forbidden love” vibe as his father and Arrah’s mother are despise each other. They all basically
played a key part in Arrah’s journey. I also found the relationship between Arrah and her sister, who was also a villain really interesting. At first Arrah believes with her help, her sister can change and be more human rather than demon. But this doesn’t come to be as she embraces her demon side more.
The other thing I found really cool was the parts were the story is narrated from the gods aka the Orisha’s side of things. From this we find out more about the history and how things came to be.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel’s dark elements and the complexity of the world, story and characters. It’s a series I will definitely be continuing!