Review: “The Kingdom of Back” by Marie Lu

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.

The Kingdom of Back is a beautifully told story to inspire many. As a historical fiction, it is a blend of what was and what could have been, what did and did not happen. It is a real story filled with just the right amount of faerie magic.

This read was a nice surprise in that it didn’t contain the usual romantic theme that the YA genre is currently filled with. It remains a sibling themed story from start to finished and the depiction of the family and its member’s interactions seemed realistic for the described period of 1700’s.

The older we were, the less magnificent we seemed.

This novel’s message of the cruelty of the world and its unfairness hits hard, but not as hard as it should have. I did not enjoy reading endless paragraphs told from Nannerl’s perspective, they were too long and repetitive. By venturing into the world of magic, I felt as if the author masked what she has tried to convey to a too great extend. Frankly, her note at the end of the novel was more emotional and thought-provoking than the entirety of the novel.

Speak for those less fortunate than yourself, who will need your help. Speak for the ones who will come after you, looking to you for guidance. Stay true, daughter. One day, you will see it all go up in flames.

I was surprised to hear that the Kingdom of Back was a world actually invented/imagined by Woferl and Nannerl in real life. I did enjoy the fact that there were a lot of real facts included in the story and I must admit coming up with it based on what the author knew seems quite impressive and imaginative.

Wishes have a habit of surprising their makers.

The Kingdom of Back felt dragged out for me, there wasn’t that much dialogue going on. As well as that, the timeline in the story wasn’t clearly laid out, at any given time I wasn’t sure how old the characters were in it since the story progressed throughout Nannerl’s childhood. Overall, not my favourite read, but I can see why some people would love it.

Have you read the Kingdom of Back, if so what did you think? Let me know down in the comment section.

Happy reading!

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