The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Summary:

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.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. 

The Review:

I was very excited to pick up this book, mainly because it is from Marie Lu, who is one of my autobuy authors. Also because it is very different from her usual books, and I like that she isn’t afraid to dip into other genres, this one being an historical fiction with some light fantasy elements.

This is the story about Mozart sister who is very unknown in the history books who goes by Nannerl in this book. She is also a musical prodigy, but couldn’t rise up in the ranks like her brother because of her gender.

Nannerl’s character is very well written, because this is a Marie Lu book, she knows how to write these complex characters. One of the highlights I really liked was seeing the relationship between Nannerl and Wolfrel. She always seem to care a lot by her brother, and that is how they come up with the Kingdom of Back, their own world that they made up for themselves.

The main plot of the story is Nannerl and Wolfrel, are basically touring and visiting Kings and Queens to show off Wolfrel’s talent as a composer with Nannerl, of course in the background. There is a lot of time when Nannerl wants to break free but is confined by the gender norms of that time, and there are times when she writes his music.

The Kingdom of Back, is a very fantastical world, and Marie Lu does a good job at describing the details of that world. It has it’s own world and stakes involved within that world. My only main gripe is that we didn’t spend a lot of time in that world and I wanted to see more of it.

In the end, I really enjoyed The Kingdom of Back. Like most of Marie Lu’s work she knows how to write these very complex characters, with a very compelling plot. This also gives a voice to the forgotten women in history.

Grade: 4.5/5