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.
“I was fire. Wind. A universe of exploding stars.”The Stolen Kingdom, Jillian Boehme
I received an e-ARC of this book from Tor-Macmillian via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
While I am more of a series type of reader, I do appreciate a fantasy standalone every now and then, especially if it was well-written – and The Stolen Kingdom hit that mark. Everything was nicely done, but there were obviously some aspects to it that I found lacking and craved for more. It was just a pretty okay book for me in general – nothing really new and exciting to introduce in the YA fantasy space, but it did have the common pieces there.
This is a fantasy story featuring the “long lost royal” and “rightfully reclaiming the throne” tropes, and focuses on Maralyth as a daughter of a winemaker, and Alac, the second son of the reigning evil king. Everything was pretty straight-forward and almost one-note, and definitely very predictable. There wasn’t really anything new to the way these tropes were handled, but the story progression was a bit interesting enough that I managed to get through the book. I almost DNF-ed this book because of it, but there were redeeming events that happened towards the end of the book that salvaged the story for me. Both Mara and Alac were well-written characters, but I didn’t have any attachment towards them. They were just too cookie-cutter cut characters, and I do feel like most of their personalities were bordering superficial.
The magic system was also just okay for me. I appreciated the effort of the author really expounding the history and basis of both the magic systems introduced, but I do have to note that what the magic actually does was not fleshed out. I was never able to get much on how the magic exactly works aside from what the characters were doing, and it felt like there was something so much more than what was shown.
Is it a great book? No.
Is it a bad book? Also no.
While I pretty much enjoyed it over-all, it didn’t exactly match my own personal tastes, but I do believe that it may cater to other readers better.
About The Author
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.