Review: The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

The Kingdom of BackAuthor: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Released: March 3rd, 2020
Received: BookishFirst
Warnings: Illness
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Kingdom of Back in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Kingdom of Back is the latest novel by Marie Lu, and it is a stunning blend of fantasy and music. This is the tale of Nannerl Mozart, her brother, Wolfgang Mozart, and the magical world they once shared.

Nannerl was born with a gift for music. It should have taken her so far – if not for the time in which she had been born. That and her gender. While Nannerl struggled to hold her father’s attention, her brother was adored and praised.

If not for the magical secret these two siblings shared, their bond might never have survived so long. Not in the conditions they were being raised in. This was a secret they were content to keep – a secret that influenced their music for years to come.


“I am going to tell you a story you already know. But listen carefully, because within it is one you have never heard before.”

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: There are some heartbreaking descriptions in this novel, which make the world feel all the more real. Some of those descriptions include the way Nannerl is treated (both by her father and by society), and others detailing the illnesses of the time. Just something to keep in mind.

As a long-standing fan of Marie Lu, it’s safe to say that I was eagerly looking forward to The Kingdom of Back. The fact that it was so musically inclined only furthered to increase my excitement. Having devoured this book, I can honestly tell you that it lived up to all of my expectations.

The Kingdom of Back was a lovely and enchanting tale. No, I take it back. That description does not do this novel justice. It was elegant and chilling, with melodic themes that carried me away as I read. It was every bit the novel I was hoping it would be, and then some.

The theme was perfection, obviously. Combining the history of Mozart with fantasy elements seemed almost natural, with the way Marie Lu handled it here. It’s like the story I never knew I needed, not until now, at any rate.

I honestly cannot say enough positive things about the writing in The Kingdom of Back. It was enchanting and captivating, all while running away with the prevalent themes surrounding the Mozart family. It’s a tale I never expected to see in this yet…but it worked so beautifully here. It has been a long time since I read a novel that touched me in such a way.

Nannerl’s story was a compelling one. Her story was breathtaking, while also being overwhelming at times. It was a perfect balance, as she journeyed through both a magical world and a world that refused to accept her for who and what she was.

The Kingdom of Back was an amazing novel. One that I wish I could go back in time and read as if new all over again. It was beautiful in ways I could never have imagined, and utterly unforgettable.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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1 Response to Review: The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

  1. Pingback: The Best Books of 2020 (According to Cat) | Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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