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Title: The Stolen Kingdom
Author: Jillian Boehme
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Fantasy | Romance| Historical
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
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The workers would smile at me when I brought napkins, or knives, or wooden bowls of roasted corn to the table – little Mara, her mother’s shadow.Maralyth
I never wanted to be her shadow though.
Her own was long and dark and she wanted me to hide in it.
“The world beyond our vineyards can swallow you before you can catch your next breath,” she would say. “Your life is here, where you are safe and needed.”
The Stolen Kingdom Synopsis
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.
The Stolen Kingdom Review
Alright this is definitely a comfort book for those who love YA and love Fantasy. This standalone novel is a light read. There’s a little bit of everything in this novel. Jillian Boehme focuses more on the plot and structural components than most high fantasy or romance novels do. The major events are evenly dispersed throughout, and the scenes are skillfully written. The various types of tensions and storytelling in this short standalone were well written and the world-building was decent. i wish more time was spent world building but, hey this is a 300-page standalone so it can’t have all of my fantasy wishlist in it.
The Stolen Kingdom is written dual perspective through Alac and Mara. Alac has a great character arc. He goes from knowing himself as the aloof spare to the throne, to losing himself when Mara and his paths cross, to finding himself once more by the end of the novel. Mara’s persona is not super unique in a fantasy novel. She is strong and sure of herself, but also insecure at times and defensive. I have found a lot of fantasy novels have this type of female character in it. She is selfless and wants to do whats right for everyone else, but rarely thinks of herself.. There is a few side characters, Tucker and Hestar, that I wish we got to see more of. Tucker was funny, sarcastic, and charismatic, but only evolve enough to have his only role as the guard to Alac and similarly Hester, Mara’s half brother also seemed to have only existed to help her.
The diversity was severely lacking in this story. The side characters felt a little 2-D and I wish more time was spent going through the characters various decision making, instead of seemingly out of nowhere changes in character direction. Maybe another 100 pages would have better fulfilled this wish But overall, if you are looking for a light and fun read, but don’t want to commit to a series, I would recommend The Stolen Kingdom! I’ll definitely be reading it again, probably on a rainy day with a glass of wine.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for sending me a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Jillian Boehme is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.
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