Tag Archives: Marie Lu

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Overview
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Title: The Kingdom of Back
Author: Marie Lu
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical fiction, Magical realism, Music
Dates read: 22nd August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Putnam
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: “Like this.”

Synopsis

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 eighteenth-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

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 a sister.

Thoughts

It’s not often that I finish a book and experience a book hangover. There’s many that will leave thoughts and feelings lingering long after I finish them? But actual difficulty in picking up the next book? Not a common occurrence for me. It didn’t QUITE happen this time either. But its the closest I’ve come in a very long time.

Recently I’ve heard of Nannerl Mozart due to the Enola Holmes movie and the statues going up in response to this. However, beyond her existence and levels of talent similar to her brother, I knew pretty much nothing. Including the fact that she was a celebrated progidy just like her brother. The mix of reality and fantasy in the book helped to make me feel a lot more educated about such an amazing woman.

Honestly, my heart hurt throughout this story. Knowing how quickly woman are and were swept under the rug is one thing. But the way that Lu emphasises this in Nannerl’s voice… it left me feeling physically uncomfortable. Which I think was incredibly important to the tone and message of this story. Being ignored because of your gender is not a comfortable thing and Lu was able to perfectly emphasise this.

I’ve read a few historical fictions lately. But this is the first that intertwines this so strongly with fantasy. There are elements of the fae and fairy tales. And just a hint of familiarity to the fantasy story line that I just can’t place. But, alongside this you have the reality of being a woman in the time of Marie Antoinette, Nannerl and Wolfgang. With all of the challenges that that entails.

<- More Marie LuMore magical realism ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Overview
Image result for book cover the young elites

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Science fiction, Young adult
Dates read: 3rd December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Speak
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: On a strange impulse, I reach out and close my hand tightly around the rose’s stem.

Synopsis

A decade ago, a deadly blood fever swept through the nation. Most of the infected perished, but some survivors were left with strange markings, rumored to signify powerful gifts for those who possess them. And though their identities remain secret, this group of survivors has come to be called
The Young Elites.

The Inquisition Axis seeks to destroy them. The Dagger Society aims to find them before the Inquisition Axis. And Adelina Amouteru just wants to be left alone. But two truths will soon surface:
Adelina’s powers are far from ordinary…
And she is not to be crossed.

Thoughts

This is a seriously intense, wonderful and amazing story. It also made me cry. Not heaps… but a bit. Enough that you know there are some serious heart-string pulling moments. Which is surprising because I thought this would be a great story with a girl coming into her superpowers. Rather, it was far more dark than I had anticipated. So dark in fact that I felt a little uncomfortable whilst reading it. Which is the kind of story that I absolutely adore.

As a forewarning to those who want to read this story… the ending to this story is kind of tragic. There were multiple heart-rending moments throughout this story… but it was the way in which it ended that truly made me have super feelings. It wasn’t what I expected at all to be fair. I thought there’d be a much happier ending. But, ultimately, the story becomes about sister bonds which makes me love this even more.

Ultimately, this story is about trying to find love and acceptance. Trying to fit in in a world that doesn’t necessarily want you. And to find those people who will actually love you, no matter who and what you are… sadly, it takes a long time to get to that point… mostly, there are a lot of characters who are using the lead. Alright, in a lot of ways it’s for a good cause… but it’s so incredibly hurtful.

I found this book almost impossible to put down. I knew that it was going to be good, because the Facebook group I’m in has suggested this multiple times. What I didn’t expect is to basically give up on doing anything productive because not only could I not stop reading this… the times when I did pause left me thinking about this… obsessively. I can’t believe I have to wait until next year to buy the next two books in the trilogy!

 <- More Marie LuThe Rose Society ->

Image source: Goodreads