The Stolen Kingdom is the story of two young people thrust into roles they never wanted, didn’t expect and are not quite prepared for. Mara is the daughter of a vintner and she loves tending to her father’s grapes but she has a secret, she can make them grow with magic. But to her knowledge, magic is bad and is only possessed by the King himself. That magic is passed from heir to heir on the throne, a throne which had been stolen generations earlier.
Alac is the King’s second son and uninterested in power and fearful of magic. When his father goes on progress through the kingdom just before his heir is due to be married, he entrusts Alac with a magical medallion to protect him while the king is away. This first taste of magic makes Alac equally intrigued and fearful.
When Mara is kidnapped and brought to the castle in a plot to assassinate the royal family and place her on the throne the plans are soon in jeopardy as she bonds with Alac. The two begin a quest to understand how to contain the magic. As the plot progresses they are torn apart by their loyalties to their side but can they overcome and find a way to peace for the kingdom?
This is definitely a slow moving plot for fantasy and is much more focused on character building than world building. That said we learn more and more about the magic and history of the kingdom as the novel unfolds. It’s fun to see Mara test the boundaries of her magic and gain confidence with it and who she is in the world. There were lots of parallels for me with the story of the Graceling, so my recommendation for today is to preorder this one if you are a fan of Graceling.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
Do you prefer a stand-alone fantasy or an epic series?