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.
Review: 3 Stars
I have to admit that this book grabbed my attention with its gorgeous cover and I requested an eARC. When I read the blurb I found it intriguing and figured I might pick it up at some point. But then I received a physical ARC on my doorstep and I couldn’t resist picking it up right away. The Stolen Kingdom grabbed my attention right away since Mara had the power to make plants grow. I have started spring cleaning my gardens, so I figured that this would be the perfect book to listen to while doing some early garden work. The Stolen Kingdom was an easy read that kept me absorbed, but overall I found it to be a rather unremarkable book.
Let’s start with where this book really shines. The Stolen Kingdom has a pretty great plot and the magic is really cool. I love books that take place at court and are filled with deception, betrayal and intrigue. The Stolen Kingdom focuses on Mara, the lost true heir to the throne, and Alac, who is the second prince. There is plenty of deception to be had and a plot to seize the throne. The plot was really compelling and the backbone of the story was really strong. The world was built well and the history of the magic and who it belonged to was explained well without excess detail. The book moved at a steady pace and was a really easy and light read.
While there were great ideas behind the novel, it all fell apart in the execution. The one major flaw was that the characters felt like cardboard cut outs. There was very little depth to any of the characters and the dialogue and banter felt forced. The characters’ motivations made very little sense and the romance was hard to believe. I had absolutely no emotional attachment to the characters and also felt like the lacked any emotions themselves. There are important deaths that are completely glossed over with no grief at all and the characters magically come together for a romance just to fit the plot.
The Stolen Kingdom was a fast read with a really cool world and a good plot, but it was hard to ignore some serious flaws. The characters were incredibly one dimensional and went along with things for the sake of the plot rather than their own motivations. It’s hard for me to review this one because it’s full of great ideas, but the execution of them didn’t work for me. The Stolen Kingdom was an easy read, but it isn’t one that I would recommend.