Book Reviews

Out of My Comfort Zone: Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

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 Timesbestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

Title: Kingdom Of Back
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Format: Hardover
Publisher: Putnam/G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Date Published: March 3rd, 2020
Rating: 1//5 Owls

Years ago I read Legend by Marie Lu, and I wasn’t a fan. I read samplers of some of her other books and decided she just wasn’t for me. I have friends that absolutely adore her books, but I knew her words would never fill my shelves.

Last year her newest book, The Kingdom of Back, came to me in a book box and I thought it sounded so different than her usual books, that I was sure to love it.

I read maybe 14 pages? Decided it was not for me, and put it back on the shelf.

Which makes it PERFECT for my March Outside My Comfort Zone book!

This time around, I decided to borrow the audiobook from my library, and give it a real solid effort this time!

I was insanely disappointed.

Historical fiction and fantasy are my two favorite genres. They dominate my bookshelves and my heart, so I was really expecting more from this story that combines elements of both genres.

From what I’ve seen about Marie Lu, she is mainly a science fiction writer, and although I’m all for authors writing outside their usual genre, but going from futuristic sci-fi to historical fantasy is a huge jump and it really shows.

This is the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister Maria Anna Mozart, also known as Nannerl. Nannerl is sidelined because she is a girl, while her brother is the golden child – the child prodigy composing masterpieces in his sleep.

Real history shows that some of Wolgang’s works were most likely penned by his sister, and that they’re both musical geniuses who should be honored in history.

This book tells about Nannerl’s journey between the prodigy child, pushed aside as her brother gets more popular, and her struggle to accept the position she’s put into.

Oh, and she also plays music and meets a fantasy boy, trying to save his magical kingdom and defeat a few other world beings that have taken over. He was almost a love interest, but not quite, which I think was mainly due to the age of Nannerl, who was 14 for most of the book. She goes on these fantastical sounding tasks, to defeat the obstacles the boy needs her to complete….but she completes these tasks so quickly and without any real fuss, that it wasn’t too exciting to watch unfold.

In fact….all of the fantasy elements felt so rushed and incomplete. Nannerl kept thinking they were a dream, or her imagination, and it really ruined the fantasticalness of all of it.

I don’t really know what else to say about this book. There was almost no plot, there was too much whimsy with the fantasy elements, and it just didn’t flow very well.

This book had a very middle grade feel, and seemed like a half-hearted attempt at writing a fantasy novel.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, but everyone has different taste so maybe someone else will love it in a way I couldn’t. But I think Marie Lu and her stories are an overall no for me. I’m glad I gave it a shot, but I won’t be picking up anymore of her books anytime soon.

Out of My Comfort Zone So Far:

January – Fangirl **—
February – Horrid **—
March – The Kingdom of Back *—-

So far my Out of My Comfort Zone picks aren’t doing it for me, but I have very high hopes for next month!

4 thoughts on “Out of My Comfort Zone: Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu”

  1. The book may not have been that great but.. your review is certainly entertaining! I love the brutal honesty. This book has been on my tbr so.. I’ll probably still read it at some point but at least I’ve been warned.
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can see that! It’s never a bad thing.
        And I actually enjoyed Lu’s “Legend” series when I read it so.. maybe i’ll like this one too?
        Thank you! Have an amazing evening!

        Liked by 1 person

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