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The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Kingdom of Back - Marie Lu

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this story. Believe it or not, this was the first time that I have read any of Marie Lu's work. I love music so I was really drawn to the premise of this story. I read the bulk of this book in a single day and couldn't get enough of Wolferl and Nannerl's story. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

There was a point at the start of this story that I thought that this book was going to be mostly set in the fantasy world of the Kingdom of Back. I was wrong. This book really reads like an historical fiction with short trips into fantasy. The fantasy elements were a nice addition to the story but I felt like the relationship between Nannerl and her brother, Wolferl, and their music was the main focus of the story.

Nannerl is Wolferl's older sister. The world knows Wolferl as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and he is remembered by everyone. But who remembers his sister who shared his talent? As children, they were both very gifted musicians and played for important audiences everywhere. They were not treated the same though. Nannerl is expected to help supervise her younger brother and knows that being a wife and mother is in her future. She is allowed to play her music but composition is strictly considered a man's domain.

I really enjoyed the magical elements of this story. Hyacinth was a great character and I loved that I was never quite sure of his motivations. I thought that the descriptions of the scenes within the Kingdom of Back made this world come alive. All of the things that they were faced with in this land were exciting and helped to move the story along.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done story involving a historical figure from a unique point of view. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Marie Lu's work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this story. At the start of the book, I thought that the story would spend most of its time in the fantasy world of the Kingdom of Back. Instead, the story read as historical fiction with moments of magic dispersed throughout the story. This is the first time that I have picked up any of Marie Lu's work and there was something about this story of Mozart's sister, Nannerl, that I could not resist. We have all heard of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but what about his talented sister?