The Stolen Kingdom

Jillian Boehme. Tor Teen, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-25029-882-9
The titular issue of stolen power receives only surface treatment in this epic fantasy by Boehme (Stormrise), which unfolds by the numbers in alternating first-person perspectives. In Perin Faye, magic is the king’s prerogative, his throne wedded to a dark magic stolen a century ago, which plagued the land with the Black Death. Maralyth Graylaern, 17, who has a “fair face and auburn hair,” keeps her affinity for plants secret outside her father’s winery, which suffers from predatory taxes despite his vineyards’ fame. But when a conspiring nobleman abducts and blackmails Mara into a plot to assassinate the erratic king—and rule as the legitimate heir to Perin Faye—she is thrown into the midst of a sumptuous court wedding and the arms of kindly, light-haired 19-year-old Prince Alac. As their instant attraction grows, they must do the impossible: escape Alac’s legacy of dark magic, restore the throne, and save the kingdom. Contradictory political values, racial stereotyping, and inconsistent themes destabilize this political fantasy, and cursory, unconsidered treatment of violence, romance, and restitution will frustrate those familiar with the genre. Still, a shocking twist spurs readers onward, and smooth prose and innovative magic make for a fast-paced read. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/18/2021
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Children's
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