Book Review – The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme
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.
Many thanks to Netgalley, the author and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an ARC of the book for review purposes.
This was a real gem of a book to be honest. I don’t tend to find that standalone fantasies work that well as usually it takes more than one book to really set the scene and fully explore the world and magic systems in place so I found myself quite intrigued by this one.
I was very pleasantly surprised (which is always nice) to find that despite its short length that this story packed quite a punch and gave me quite a lot more than I was expecting.
Set in the Kingdom of Perin Faye we meet Maralyth Graylaern, daughter of a winemaker who just so happens to have a special kind of magic. Maralyth uses her magic on the vines to encourage the ripening of the grapes for the wine but has to do so in secret after her mother caught her as a child and told her that she mustn’t use it, that magic is dangerous.
In this Kingdom the only person who can use magic is the King himself and there is a lot of history when it comes to how the royal family came to have the magic in the first place. The Kings ancestors basically usurped the throne and stole the magic many years ago from the Dallowyns and since then the Kingdom has been at the mercy of the royal family who have grown greedy and hungry for more power.
One day a Dallowyn supporter who has witnessed Maralyth using her magic decides to put her on the throne and the whole story is basically about the coup to overthrow the monarchy and restore the magic and the throne to it’s rightful owner.
I absolutely loved the main character’s, they are really likeable. There is not really any romance so to speak but there is a forbidden friendship/love between Maralyth and the second son of the King, Prince Alac. I would have liked to see that developed more but given the shortness of the story I think that the author did a good enough job with their relationship and it was enjoyable to read about and see it unfold even though I can’t say that I really connected or felt that much about whether they ended up together or not.
There was nothing about this book that made it really stand out from other’s in this genre but despite that it works well as a standalone, has an enjoyable plot and is definitely the type of book you want to read in one sitting.
The plot is well wrapped up and doesn’t leave you with any unanswered questions. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys YA and stories about magic.