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For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare h For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling. When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.


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For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare h For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling. When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

30 review for The Stolen Kingdom

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    if you enjoyed ‘the shadows between us’ and/or ‘the guinevere deception,’ then you will want to read this. in the same vein as the other books, this story promises intriguing court politics, magical powers, a root-worthy slowburn romance, and other enjoyable YA fantasy tropes, all wrapped up in writing that has good pacing and easy to devour language. also, you should know by now how much i love a standalone. sometimes (aka most of the time) i dont want to commit to multiple books in a series, so if you enjoyed ‘the shadows between us’ and/or ‘the guinevere deception,’ then you will want to read this. in the same vein as the other books, this story promises intriguing court politics, magical powers, a root-worthy slowburn romance, and other enjoyable YA fantasy tropes, all wrapped up in writing that has good pacing and easy to devour language. also, you should know by now how much i love a standalone. sometimes (aka most of the time) i dont want to commit to multiple books in a series, so i love an author who can take a fantasy world and create a well-developed and resolved standalone story with it. overall, this is a fun, entertaining novel with some great highlights. its definitely turned me on to JB as an author and im looking forward to reading more of her books! a massive thank you to macmillan-tor/forge for the ARC! ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I didn’t expect to fall too hard for this book but the intriguing magical world building, secret identities, mixed bloodlines, witchery, forbidden love, whirlwind tension-twisty espionage theme blew my mind! First of all I have to admit: both of the MCs are adorable and I enjoyed the chapters tell us how their characters evolve and how deeply their secret romance blooms. Maralyth and Alac : narrators of the story, trying to discover their own powers, define their abilities to use magic. Both of I didn’t expect to fall too hard for this book but the intriguing magical world building, secret identities, mixed bloodlines, witchery, forbidden love, whirlwind tension-twisty espionage theme blew my mind! First of all I have to admit: both of the MCs are adorable and I enjoyed the chapters tell us how their characters evolve and how deeply their secret romance blooms. Maralyth and Alac : narrators of the story, trying to discover their own powers, define their abilities to use magic. Both of them have strict daddy issues. Maralyth has undeniably deep and powerful connection with barrels of fermenting wine. She can ripen grapes with a few whispered words! She inherited her powers from her mother’s side but she gave her word to her mother not to share her ability with anyone and keep it as a secret and now she thinks she deserves to be the woman in charge by getting full of vineyard. But her father thinks otherwise by choosing her brother as his successor. So poor Maralyth stays as a talented cook, cursing to her faith as Alac also has problems about his own position. He’s king’s second son, not happy with his position as the spare heir, hating the guts of his brother and also having issues with his father who took control of the throne with help of stolen magic. Both characters’ paths cross in the middle of coup which will bring them together to learn more about the secret bloodline who deserves to claim the throne. It’s such an addictive, riveting, well developed, entertaining cat-mouse chase with mind bending intrigues, surprising revelations. The characters find themselves tangled with web of lies and enigmatic secrets. I love to see their blooming forbidden romance and the way how they test their endurance against the dark magic! I’m giving my five cheers to tough, smart, powerful heroine, likable, honest, fair hero, magical, stunning world building, I couldn’t put it down stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan/ Tor-Forge / Tor Teen for sharing this magnificent digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mash

    ~ 1 star ~ The Stolen Kingdom is a fantasy novel that follows two different characters; Alac and Maralyth. Maralyth is a young woman living in a small village with her father and brother, together the family and a couple other villages run a winery. But Maralyth has a secret. When Maraylth is kidnapped, she is told of her bloodline; that of the descendants of magic and she gets caught up in a scheme to bring down the reign of the king once and for all. Alac is the younger son of the king of Perin ~ 1 star ~ The Stolen Kingdom is a fantasy novel that follows two different characters; Alac and Maralyth. Maralyth is a young woman living in a small village with her father and brother, together the family and a couple other villages run a winery. But Maralyth has a secret. When Maraylth is kidnapped, she is told of her bloodline; that of the descendants of magic and she gets caught up in a scheme to bring down the reign of the king once and for all. Alac is the younger son of the king of Perin Faye and he was never interested in court or the people of it, that is, until Maralyth came along. What would have been a very interesting book because of its premise, ended up falling very short on my standard for multiple reasons. To begin with; I will talk about the writing. If we are speaking in terms of literature, the writing is not bad but there were so many things I didn’t like. The book is supposedly written from the perspective of teenagers but In my opinion, it felt as if the author was trying too hard to make it sound normal and it ended up very awkward and unrealistic. Throughout the book, women are constantly objectified and put down, by the female MC, male MC and multiple other people in the book. Here is one of the quotes that clearly shows what is wrong with some of the writing in this book: “She accepted my offered arm, and I escorted her up the steps, marveling at the way she started breathing hard when we were about halfway up. True, she was a bit on the plump side, but I guessed the real reason was that she sat and did nothing all day.” I can’t even believe this is written in an actual book. This is said by the male MC and I am very offended by it because I fail to see the purpose of it, other than to shame women. Maybe she was breathing hard because the court requires her to wear heavy dresses and jewelry, so it would be hard to climb stairs because of all the weight? Not because she’s “plump” or because she “sits and does nothing all day”. I am disgusted and offended by the fact that an author thinks it’s okay to write something like this in a book specifically tailored for young adults. Now for the plot, oh wait, what plot? This book had one of the most basic, unoriginal plots I have seen and the “fantasy” aspect is barely there at all. NOTE: This will have spoilers for the book Female MC is poor and has to help care for her family Female MC has SpEcHuL Magical powers Female MC then finds out she is descended from Magical bloodlines Female MC then becomes responsible to kill the king and his family Female MC goes to the palace under a disguise, she plays the role of a young, good ward Male MC is a prince Male MC is known to be rude and arrogant but that’s only because he has a “sad” backstory Male MC doesn’t like court, until female MC comes around Male MC thinks female Mc is NoT LiKe OtHeR GiRls Female MC then falls in love with male MC and vice-versa When the time comes to kill the male MC, the female MC changes her decision last minute and doesn’t let him get killed End of story, male and Female MC’s are now very happy and all problems have magically disappeared The plot was mostly just romance with a little bit of political intrigue, which was added like a side note. The world-building was extremely underdeveloped and the “politics” were almost invisible. The only thing I was able to learn about the world was that the people really love wine and that the royals enjoy their wine, while labourers are under paid for their effort. I failed to connect with the plot and I only finished so I can write a review that is based upon the entire book. And now, for the worst aspect of this book; the characters. I did not like them at all, not the male nor the female, nor any other character in the book. To begin with; let’s talk about the names. So Alex and Alec are apparently too normal and so the author named our male MC Alac, “why?” you might ask, I have absolutely no idea. As if naming a character Alac was not great enough, our female lead is not named Maralyn but actually Maralyth because she is unique and SpEcIal (how is that even pronounced?). And the heir to the throne is named the wonderful name (that most definitely does not foreshadow anything at all) Cannon. Why would anyone name their child Cannon? *sigh* I am tired of these names. Now for the actual “personalities” of the characters. Alac is a love sick teenager that only wants Maralyth because “she’s not like other girls” and because she shares his taste in wine. He objectifies multiple characters in the book and also judged women constantly, for their appearance. His sad sob story is basically that he is lonely because his father never paid attention to him, it’s not like his father was king and had actual responsibilities? The instalove between these characters was unrealistic and basically the only thing the book focused on. “I rolled my eyes. “She doesn’t seem like the eyelash-batting type.” Which was definitely intriguing” Oh it’s not like we blink or anything? Of course not, what an unnatural thing to do! Also, another disturbing quote from Alac’s perspective, he says this regarding Maralyth after she does something near the end of the book. “I wanted to take her by the hair and slam her into the ground. Yell at her face until she shrank away, small and defeated. Throw her from a high wall and watch her fall.” Ummmm, I understand that you were not okay with what she did but really Alac, how is this even romanticised? I am (once again) disturbed, I think the quote speaks for itself. Okay, so where do I even start with Maralyth? She was such a boring and annoying character. She was bratty and fit very well into a rich life, especially for someone who used to be poor. Her feelings towards Alac felt forced and unnatural. It isn’t a basic YA novel if there isn’t your daily dose of girl Vs girl hate, so Maralyth also judges the “pretty and confident” woman that talks to Alac. Words that were said by Maralyth: “Some girls married at seventeen and started having babies” “I wanted more” I just- *sigh*, did it ever occur to Maralyth that these women she talks about might actually have been forced into marriage by their families (considering the time period and era this seems like a replication of, this is very likely), she just classified an entire group of people and implies that those women chose to have children at a very young age, which she doesn’t even know. That second part of the quote, ahh, as if Alac doesn’t already believe she is “Not like other girls”, Maralyth also has to remind herself that she isn’t. At the beginning of the book, Maralyth also implies that women cannot be strong by saying this: “Almost there.” It was a girl’s voice, deep and gravely. Was this the mountain of muscle that had held me fast in the saddle day after day? It was hardly possible” She is clearly saying that it’s not possible that a woman carried her because the person that did was very strong and “ a mountain of muscle”. There is so much wrong with that quote, it’s not like muscles are natural things, right? Ahhhh, this review ended up much longer than I expected but I just had to share my opinion on this book. Overall, as you can tell, I did not like this book at all. Thank you for reading my review and I hope it helped! **Disclaimer** This is all personal opinion and is in no way intended to harass or offend anyone. If I do, I sincerely apologize (also let me know so I can fix the offensive content, thank you) Blog Pinterest 💜~Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!~💜

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    2.5 stars I love it when authors write standalone fantasies. I think these are rare gems. Some stories need a saga but more often than not, authors drag their books to become trilogies at the very least. This book easily managed to deliver an enjoyable story with likable characters in less than 350 pages. The story is set in a world with magic, which was stolen from its rightful holders around 100 years ago. The Thungraves hold now the corrupted magic and rule the kingdom who has suffered ever sin 2.5 stars I love it when authors write standalone fantasies. I think these are rare gems. Some stories need a saga but more often than not, authors drag their books to become trilogies at the very least. This book easily managed to deliver an enjoyable story with likable characters in less than 350 pages. The story is set in a world with magic, which was stolen from its rightful holders around 100 years ago. The Thungraves hold now the corrupted magic and rule the kingdom who has suffered ever since they usurped the crown. Mara, vintner’s daughter, discovered that she has magical abilities and was secretly using it not knowing that she’s the heir to a stolen throne. When one of the lords finds out about her, he manipulates her to get back the throne. On the other side of the story, we have Alac, the prince who doesn’t approve of his father’s policies. He was never interested in his position if anything, he’d like to have his own vineyard. This book would appeal in particular to all wine lovers, who aren’t interested just in drinking wine, but also in the whole process of making it. It’s the first book I read that featured such sideline focus and I liked it. The characters were likable and cute. This book in my opinion works best for young readers new to this genre but can also be enjoyed by any YA fan. Mara was level-headed, loyal, and smart. She didn’t back down but is also full of compassion. Alac is a good match for her. I couldn’t connect with the characters and their romance didn’t make me feel much, sadly. The plot was fast, I finished it rather quickly. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of the “one more chapter” cases and suddenly it was 4 am and my eyes were watering... I finished the book first thing in the morning. The downside of having this book short is that the world wasn’t developed well enough and the religion part was unnecessary because it wasn’t handled in depth. There was also talk of wars and other nations but it was only mentioned briefly, I would’ve liked it if they were more explored. This is what you might call generic YA with romance but at least the author had the characters admit several times that they didn’t know each other for long how they can feel that much for the other person (admit to other people I mean). The plot was also simplistic, again it’s less than 350 pages, but maybe more pages to develop the story and the romance, would’ve benefited this book. It was nothing new sadly (except for the wine part for me but still not worth it). The story wasn’t what I’d call memorable but a fun book that can be read in one sitting without worrying about committing to yet another series. Thanks to NetGalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 3 stars In a kingdom where magic is forbidden to all but the king, a young girl hides a terrible secret. Raised since she was a child on her father’s vineyard, Maralyth has always known she possessed magic, an act that could endanger herself and her family if discovered. Upon finding out that the very magic she’s been taught to hide is proof of an ancestry worthy of contending for the throne, she is immediately entangled in a cruel plot to supplant its current ruler. To do so means courting dea ↠ 3 stars In a kingdom where magic is forbidden to all but the king, a young girl hides a terrible secret. Raised since she was a child on her father’s vineyard, Maralyth has always known she possessed magic, an act that could endanger herself and her family if discovered. Upon finding out that the very magic she’s been taught to hide is proof of an ancestry worthy of contending for the throne, she is immediately entangled in a cruel plot to supplant its current ruler. To do so means courting death, and the outcome far more deadly if she fails. Now I’m all for court intrigue. Never has it been said that I am not a fan of drama. Mix all that together with ill intentions, and a sinister plot that threatens the current state of governance, and I’m sold. For the most part, The Stolen Kingdom hit the brief on what it was trying to accomplish. It’s a short and sweet standalone that packs quite a punch, all in under four hundred pages. The characters are likable, with the arc of the main character being perhaps my favorite thing in the novel. Just really here for stories about women reclaiming their power and then using it to serve their own interests. There is something about that that never fails to entertain me. Where this story inevitably falls short though, is in everything below the surface level of the novel. The world building was incredibly underdeveloped, and most of the supporting characters lacked the depth that was needed of them. This is clearly the outcome of an overambitious plot that tried to cater to so many different audiences. Not saying that a project like that is impossible to accomplish, but to execute something of that nature requires a steady hand. Each element felt that it either had too much attention paid to its exposition, or not enough. The romance for example, came so far out of the left field I could not enjoy it at all. Not only did the two love interests lack enough romantic chemistry, but the development of their relationship was devoid of any real substance. Altogether a let down seeing as the romance was what drew me into this in the first place. Generally speaking, this will probably be a hit or a miss for most people, a risk I think comes with reading any standalone. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, murder, death of a main character, abduction, self harm

  6. 5 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    Blog | Twitter The beginning of this book had so much promise—an intriguing magic system, a spare to the throne who spent his free time tutoring children, and a peasant girl whose life as a vintner’s daughter had the potential for a unique spin on the secret royal trope. Unfortunately, after a few chapters, it all collapsed in on itself and warped into a typical YA Fantasy that did not really bring anything new to the table. Maralyth or “Mara” seemed more controlled by the circumstance of the plot Blog | Twitter The beginning of this book had so much promise—an intriguing magic system, a spare to the throne who spent his free time tutoring children, and a peasant girl whose life as a vintner’s daughter had the potential for a unique spin on the secret royal trope. Unfortunately, after a few chapters, it all collapsed in on itself and warped into a typical YA Fantasy that did not really bring anything new to the table. Maralyth or “Mara” seemed more controlled by the circumstance of the plot than her own agency. She was easily manipulated and naïve to a fault, and by the end of the story her powers were more boring than interesting. Prince Alac, on the other hand, went from the second prince more than happy to live his life without responsibility to… well, that would go into spoiler territory, but his character shift was too quick to make it believable, even with the circumstances surrounding it. MCs aside, the most interesting characters were by far the scheming Lord Nelgareth, the broody heir-to-the-throne Prince Cannon, and starry-eyed noblewoman Lady Ellian. While the climax of the story took an unexpected turn involving these characters, that intensity quickly faded back into a comfortable mediocrity, and I found myself wishing these characters could have been explored further. Meanwhile, other side characters seemed like cardboard cutouts, especially Alac’s father, the dark King Selmar II, Alac’s best friend Tucker (their bro-ey conversations were so cringey), and Mara’s brother Nestar (I didn’t feel the sibling bond that Boehme was so clearly trying so establish). The retaking-the-throne plot did not offer anything new, a lot of the dialogue came off as stilted, and the romance was just meh. The writing style is juvenile, which may appeal to younger readers of YA, but even then I would not recommend it based on the book as a whole. Also, the scene where Mara gets attacked by a wild dog was so over-the-top and unnecessary that I couldn’t believe it was how the author chose to make one of the biggest reveals in the book. Lastly, I would like to draw attention to Mash's review on the portrayal of women in this book. I shared a lot of her thoughts regarding the internalized misogyny that was never addressed in the story, from girl hate to body shaming. Also, can we please stop writing Fantasy stories that oppress women for the sake of “worldbuilding”? Be intentional with your systems of oppression or don’t use them at all. It’s exhausting enough being a woman in the real world, and if you write magic and lore into your story and expect me to accept them you’d better believe I will find women’s equality equally as believable. I hate leaving negative reviews, and after the beautiful cover and positive buzz for this book I was hoping to love it, but it sadly was a dud for me. If you have any other standalone Fantasy stories to recommend please send them my way! Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Athena (OneReadingNurse)

    Thank you so much to Tor Teen for the digital ARC of The Stolen Kingdom via NetGalley!  This is a great standalone YA fantasy, with everything from a king killer plot to just a twist of romance! This book to me is exceptionally well done as a stand alone fantasy. The Magic: My favorite magic systems are the ones tied to the land, tied to a Kingdom, because they not only make sense to me but add so much to the richness of the world building. A pure, healing magic, was given to the original King of P Thank you so much to Tor Teen for the digital ARC of The Stolen Kingdom via NetGalley!  This is a great standalone YA fantasy, with everything from a king killer plot to just a twist of romance! This book to me is exceptionally well done as a stand alone fantasy. The Magic: My favorite magic systems are the ones tied to the land, tied to a Kingdom, because they not only make sense to me but add so much to the richness of the world building. A pure, healing magic, was given to the original King of Perin Faye by the land’s deity. Corrupted into dark and destructive magic when it was stolen, it twisted a king killer into something terrifying.  This is the legacy passed down through generations to the current king. The plot/story: the plot ran at breakneck pace, again making it a great standalone.  A rebel lord has decided to replace a true descendent of the first king on the throne to seize power.  He finds a magic wielder and a plot to murder the ruling family is put into action.  Will the corrupted magic even allow this?  The current king is away while his sons entertain the heir’s wedding party.  The first son/heir is incredibly important as the stolen magic requires a vessel at all times. Maybe a better question is, will Maralyth play along with this scheme of murder or will she fall for the prince? The Characters: I liked the characters! A vintner’s daughter, Maralyth, has hidden her magic but doesn’t really know why it is considered illicit. The second prince, Alac,  who doesn’t want the throne OR the dark magic of his father, is the other point of view.  They are both drawn unwillingly into this insane queen maker plot.  There is instant attraction between them, but then it buds slowly over months.  I liked this tiny bit of romance.  Both characters had full arcs as they realized how tied to the kingdom they are, and the side characters were great too.  Why not throw in an insane and terrifying king, and funny guard? There is banter for days between them all. The World: so much magic and lore. I wish she had discussed the religion more, although it only played a side role it would have added to the lore. There was more than enough world building for a standalone for sure. Food, wealth distribution, bit of history, economy, political structure, plus two sides of the same magic. Betrayal and a tiny bit of intrigue too. Very low content as well, just a FEW kisses and a bit of poison and swordfighting. I just can’t get over how the magic was tied to everything in the plot, I kind of feel like this is how fantasy magic should be! Plus strong, brave, funny characters, and plenty of action, this book was a huge win for me!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    Hooray for a fun, magic filled read! I'm so glad I was able to get a copy of this audiobook, it was easy to dive into and I didn't want to stop listening. The narrators do a great job and I recognized the voice of Alac from other YA fantasy stories. This is a chosen one type of story and I am here for it. Maralyn is the daughter of a wine maker and loves helping her dad. She'd love to take over the business someday, but unfortunately women aren't allowed in roles like that. Mara also has a secre Hooray for a fun, magic filled read! I'm so glad I was able to get a copy of this audiobook, it was easy to dive into and I didn't want to stop listening. The narrators do a great job and I recognized the voice of Alac from other YA fantasy stories. This is a chosen one type of story and I am here for it. Maralyn is the daughter of a wine maker and loves helping her dad. She'd love to take over the business someday, but unfortunately women aren't allowed in roles like that. Mara also has a secret, she can use magic, something only the king can do. When rebels tell Mara they want her on the throne, she goes to the palace to take the king down. The king's youngest son is Alac. He's a sweet guy who has no interest in ruling and just wants to do his own thing. He and Mara bond right away over wine and I knew they would be a great couple. There's plenty of action in the plot to keep things moving. I wish we had seen more of the magic and things it can do besides age people. I'm sure there are a lot of other possibilities for uses. I also thought the ending was a bit rushed and anti climactic, but I was happy with the results. This appears to be a stand alone and wraps up the story nicely. While this isn't a unique plot, it's a fun story and I enjoyed the characters. I look forward to reading other books from this author! I received a copy of this audiobook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    ARC received from the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A charming light read perfect for anyone in search of a fun feel good tale. The Stolen Kingdom is lovely YA fantasy with a great premise, unique magic system, wonderful MCs and a sweet romance. In a world suffering under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings, Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, discovers her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the ARC received from the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A charming light read perfect for anyone in search of a fun feel good tale. The Stolen Kingdom is lovely YA fantasy with a great premise, unique magic system, wonderful MCs and a sweet romance. In a world suffering under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings, Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, discovers her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Thrust smack down in the middle of a deadly plot to claim that throne, Maralyth is determined to do whatever it takes to free her kingdom. Until she meets her sworn enemy, Alac Thungrave - the king’s second son, and heir to the throne. Because Alac is not what Maralyth expected and she is now forced to acknowledge things may not be quite that black and white. Plot-wise, this fantasy standalone has quite a lot going on for it's less than 350 pages and that makes it very fast paced, and nicely flowing. Especially because of the great writing style. Unfortunately however, it felt rushed and a little underdeveloped. From worldbuilding to characters, magic and romance, everything could have done with a little more depth. Again, not something that can be done in such a short page count but still, I personally would have wished for more. All in all, The Stolen Kingdom is a charming standalone that most fans of the YA genre will love. It has strong characters, who are courageous, adorable and fun; plenty of action, great court intrigue, unique magic and a sweet romance. I read it in one sitting and recommend it to everyone in search of a fast, light and highly entertaining read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carissa (Regency Woman)

    Jillian Boehme delivers top-notch high fantasy with The Stolen Kingdom. Not since J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis have I experienced such a perfect blending of faith and fantasy. Stories of rightful heirs to a throne intrigue me, which is why I elected to read this novel in the first place. Maralyth comes from a line of rightful kings to the land of Perin Faye, a truth unknown to her until she is forced into a bid for the throne. Magic has always dwelt in the veins of the true kings and queens of Jillian Boehme delivers top-notch high fantasy with The Stolen Kingdom. Not since J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis have I experienced such a perfect blending of faith and fantasy. Stories of rightful heirs to a throne intrigue me, which is why I elected to read this novel in the first place. Maralyth comes from a line of rightful kings to the land of Perin Faye, a truth unknown to her until she is forced into a bid for the throne. Magic has always dwelt in the veins of the true kings and queens of Perin Faye, a gift from the Holy God given only to those leaders. When the magic was stolen by a usurper to the throne 100 years before Maralyth's time, it turned into something dark, evil, and twisted, the complete antithesis of its healing and merciful purpose. Prince Alac, second-son of the usurper lineage, and not expecting to be in line for the throne, also ends up in a bid for the throne when the rebellion against his family becomes all too real. His affection for Maralyth deepens every day since the first moment he met her during the events leading up to his older brother's wedding. But when he discovers she is not what he believed her to be, even though he never desired the power of the magic, it begins to whisper dark things to him, turning him even against Maralyth. There must be a way for the rightful rulers of Perin Faye to take the throne without bloodshed or without breaking the deepening bond between Maralyth and Alac. Jillian Boehme's characters are richly developed, from Maralyth to Alac and even to Alac's best friend and loyal guard, Tucker. The story never flags, never wavers, never turns to the right or to the left. Common tropes are avoided, leaving nothing to distract me from the story. It is strong and cleanly thought out from start to finish. The prose is colorful without falling into the pit of purple prose. I felt by the end of the book that I knew and loved both Maralyth and Alac. Maralyth especially is a solid example of what a YA heroine should be. She is strong without demeaning others. She avoids petty squabbles or fits of childishness. She is imaginative, gentle, and fun, a deeply authentic person who feels real, as if she could just walk off the page of the book and be someone I would enjoy calling a friend. She is a true ruler who puts the well-being of her people far ahead of herself. As for Alac, I loved him from the beginning. A reluctant prince who ends up being enticed by magic that doesn't belong to his family. He yearns for it and is repulsed by it at the same time because he knows it is not meant to be his. Every emotion he undertakes feels natural, even down to his rage and hurt before he finds his way to forgiveness and love. It also helps to remember that Alac is being negatively affected by the stolen magic. It is changing him, little by little, and not in a good way. Ultimately, the true Alac that he is on the inside and who she finally frees from a burden that wasn't his to carry is a perfectly equal love interest to Maralyth and they are ideally suited. Sexual content is kept to a minimum. A young woman is almost forced into a political marriage with a much older man against her will. Alac's brother and his fiance have been intimate before their marriage and Alac interrupts one of their intimate sessions, but nothing is seen. Alac's love for Maralyth is both intellectual and decidedly physical, so he suffers from all of the effects that go along with being a teenage boy in love for the first time. There are some kisses shared between them, but nothing else. Finally, I love the religious aspect of the story. Jillian Boehme approached the idea of magic uniquely. It isn't something that can belong to everyone but is a gift from a Holy God who loves His children, to be used for good by the rulers of Perin Faye. When it is stolen, the world erupts into chaos and great damage is done. Many, many congratulations to Jillian Boehme for her marvelous book. I hope to read many, many more from her in the future as she continues her writing career. Thanks to Netgalley and Tor Books for a free ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juliette Autumnbook

    Thanks to NetGalley I was able to get an arc for this beautiful fantasy standalone. I love a good and fun standalone. I always feel that they are hidden gems in the fantasy genre, since most books are a part of a series. I really enjoyed my time with this book and I will dived this review in pros and cons. Pros - The writing style is very engaging and makes you want to continue reading. It’s very open and easy to read. It tells the story in a very fast pace and without a lot of details. - The sto Thanks to NetGalley I was able to get an arc for this beautiful fantasy standalone. I love a good and fun standalone. I always feel that they are hidden gems in the fantasy genre, since most books are a part of a series. I really enjoyed my time with this book and I will dived this review in pros and cons. Pros - The writing style is very engaging and makes you want to continue reading. It’s very open and easy to read. It tells the story in a very fast pace and without a lot of details. - The story itself is not complicated which I first though it would be, because it’s about corruption and setting up a take over from the crown. Even though there is a lot of scheming and plotting, the story itself is not that complicated and actually a little predictable. The predictable element of the story personally didn’t bother me, since it was just a very fun and enjoyable read. - The book has a great concept and the story and characters have a great potential, which I felt was not completely reached in this book. I will talk more about that in my cons. But overall I really enjoyed the concept and idea of this book. - The characters are not that amazing, but they do give a lot of humour to this book and their conversations and banter is really fun to read. I also like how strong and independent Maralyth (the female main characters) is. She is a great role model for teens. Loving, strong, put family first and has a mind of her own. Cons - Because there is not a lot of details in this book, I miss the dept in not only the world, but also in the story and character development. The story is very fast paced which is a good thing, but this also means that the story develops very fast. I would have preferred if it was a little slower at some points to allow more dept and development. Because the lack of it, which is also understanding since there is a lot of story to cover in just 320 pages, the book is not memorable. I really enjoyed reading it and it’s definitely a cute read between more heaver books or series, but it is not a book that will stay with me forever or a book that I would like to pick up again. I would have loved it a lot more if there was taken more time to give everything more dept and maybe also more pages. I rather have a log standalone of more then 400 or 500 pages and have an amazing which I would want to pick up again. Then a smaller book which feels like it good have been amazing if it had just more details and dept. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am also really happy that I was able to read. I highly recommend this book if you link sort fantasy standalones. You can easily read this in one sitting! I actually did this, because the writing style is so compelling it keeps you going.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Stolen Kingdom was such a fun and magical book to dive into. In it, you will meet Mara and Alac. The adventure that these two go on might make you dizzy. Mostly because this entire book is filled with so much. Magic, betrayal, and so much freaking tension that it might kill you. Just know that I ate it all up and I still wanted more. From the very first moment, there was something special about Mara and Alac. She was in I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Stolen Kingdom was such a fun and magical book to dive into. In it, you will meet Mara and Alac. The adventure that these two go on might make you dizzy. Mostly because this entire book is filled with so much. Magic, betrayal, and so much freaking tension that it might kill you. Just know that I ate it all up and I still wanted more. From the very first moment, there was something special about Mara and Alac. She was in love with the winery that her family owned. So in other words, she basically had my dream job because I love wine. All things wine. If my family owned a winery? Well, goodbye world - I'm in wine heaven now. While she's living my best life, he is a prince and wants to do anything else but become King. Luckily for him, he's second in line so he doesn't have to worry about that. The only thing he does worry about, though, is the magic. He hates it. Or maybe he just hates his dad's stolen magic. Either way, magic is a no go for him. After they first met, sparks were there and started to fly (a bit). It was definitely cute and I couldn't help shipping them after this. They had a special connection and I was worried that the other shoe was going to drop and kill my ship. The shoe dropped hard but my ship was still thriving in my mind. So much betrayal and magic kept me completely and utterly engaged with this book. I couldn't put it down (unless I had to eat or sleep). Now that it's over, I'm kind of sad. I don't know what to do with my thumbs right now.. unless twiddling seems proper? The moment that this book is published, I am going to buy it and dive back into these beautiful pages. Definitely enjoyed this book and I can't wait for Jillian to write another magical adventure!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Olívia

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor Forge for providing me this arc via Netgalley! I'm so tired of being completely disappointed by books. This book had everything to be great - the cover is pretty, the plot sounded intriguing and the romance was supposed to be the best kind (*I have to kill you* enemies to lovers), but it wasn't. Everything about this was lacking. The plot bored me, the characters had no d I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor Forge for providing me this arc via Netgalley! I'm so tired of being completely disappointed by books. This book had everything to be great - the cover is pretty, the plot sounded intriguing and the romance was supposed to be the best kind (*I have to kill you* enemies to lovers), but it wasn't. Everything about this was lacking. The plot bored me, the characters had no depth and the romance lacked chemistry. It wasn't super bad, but it wasn't good either, so overall 2.5 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kat | katreadsit

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought this book was really charming and delivered exactly what was promised. I was intrigued by the magic system and was rooting for Mara the entire time. The plot was slightly predictable if you consider yourself a seasoned fantasy reader but that aside it's an adorable stand-alone, perfect for wine lovers! Plus that COVER though! Amazing. 3.5/5 I thought this book was really charming and delivered exactly what was promised. I was intrigued by the magic system and was rooting for Mara the entire time. The plot was slightly predictable if you consider yourself a seasoned fantasy reader but that aside it's an adorable stand-alone, perfect for wine lovers! Plus that COVER though! Amazing. 3.5/5

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary Seaman

    ARC provided by Edelweiss: This was such a pleasant surprise. Really had no expectations going in but loved it. Full of espionage, magic, secret identities and bit of romance. I also love a cat and mouse chase. Both Maralyth and Alac aren’t happy with their current positions. One a cook on her dads vineyard and the other just the royal spare. Both find themselves in the midst of a coup that will change both their lives. Clean read overall, just violent at times.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    Maralyth, a winemaker’s daughter, has a secret. Born with a magical power that most people believed was lost or stolen long ago, she uses it to help the vineyard. However, when others learn of this secret, Mara’s entire life turns upside down. A young woman who never wanted more than to be a successful winemaker has the throne thrust upon her when she is kidnapped and told that she is the rightful heir. With her life and the lives of those she loves threatened, Mara has no choice but to take the Maralyth, a winemaker’s daughter, has a secret. Born with a magical power that most people believed was lost or stolen long ago, she uses it to help the vineyard. However, when others learn of this secret, Mara’s entire life turns upside down. A young woman who never wanted more than to be a successful winemaker has the throne thrust upon her when she is kidnapped and told that she is the rightful heir. With her life and the lives of those she loves threatened, Mara has no choice but to take the throne and become a better ruler than the current greedy king. Her feelings change when faced with the harsh realities of the coup and she meets the handsome and kind prince. Will Mara reveal her secrets? Will she ignore her feelings and take the throne? Written from dual perspectives, Alac and Mara’s, The Stolen Kingdom focuses on the thoughts and feelings of both characters. I like that you really get to understand both characters – their motivations, desires, concerns, and more. Mara is selfless, strong, and cares deeply about others. Alac is kind, sincere, and honorable. He cares about the people and doesn’t want to rule if it means taking on dark power. I think the dual perspectives allows for an in-depth and honest view of both Mara and Alac. It also shows how similar and well-suited they are. The blossoming relationship between Alac and Mara is sweet and complicated. However, this enemies-to-lovers romance is easy to root for. Both Mara and Alac are smart, brave, and kind. They both have a love of and interest in winemaking. Mara, in particular, has a long and strong connection to the vineyards and winemaking. It’s in her blood, and her power responds to living things. Both characters also seem trapped in their current situations. Alac is surrounded by darkness and people who thirst for power (and magic). Forced to be part of a coup attempt, Mara’s actions are controlled by those who want to usurp the throne. The fear, uncertainty, and feelings of entrapment draw the couple together, as do their similar good qualities. Mara and Alac feel like they can be themselves with each other, which is all but impossible in their world of political intrigue and manipulation. The magical aspects of the story are really interesting and highlight the age-old battle between good and evil. Good magic and bad magic, as well as good people and bad people, contribute to the story’s action, excitement, and character development. Lies, political maneuverings, betrayals, and secrets from the past, all of which relate to magic, also enhance the plot. Alac and Mara reject the dark magic and all it entails, and they both want to find a way to rid their world of it. However, this proves almost impossible. I also loved the vivid imagery throughout the book. I particularly liked the bird imagery, especially in relation to Mara, who frequently feels caged and longs for freedom. There is one scene where Mara is served dinner, a tray of delectable food with a beautiful bird in the center. This bird, served up on a shiny platter, is similar to Mara, who is being trained and presented (not on a shiny platter but in shiny and new clothing and baubles) as the perfect figurehead. Later in the same scene, Mara describes the bed in her kidnapper’s home as “a nest of comfort in the midst of a nightmare.” This evokes such strong bird imagery and feelings of entrapment, and it highlights Mara’s fear, helplessness, and desire for freedom. I enjoyed this standalone fantasy and think it will appeal to readers who like young adult fantasies with a great enemies-to-lovers romance. I also think people who like books with cool magic systems and political drama will enjoy the book. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Tor Teen, and Jillian Boehme for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    The Stolen Kingdom is a short YA Fantasy standalone that I really enjoyed reading. In it, we follow Maralyth, a girl that would love nothing more than to follow her father's footsteps in the vineyard. However, we quickly learn that she possess magic that no one but the Kings are allowed to have. But that said magic was stolen a century ago by the royal family, the Thungraves. Speaking of, we also get the point of view of Alac the second son of the Prince. He's a bit on the side of the royal fami The Stolen Kingdom is a short YA Fantasy standalone that I really enjoyed reading. In it, we follow Maralyth, a girl that would love nothing more than to follow her father's footsteps in the vineyard. However, we quickly learn that she possess magic that no one but the Kings are allowed to have. But that said magic was stolen a century ago by the royal family, the Thungraves. Speaking of, we also get the point of view of Alac the second son of the Prince. He's a bit on the side of the royal family as he isn't the direct heir to the throne. He doesn't really want to do anything with the magic that has transformed his father and grandfather and not to the better. As soon as they took the magic, they became cruel rulers. Now you add in a plot to overthrow the royal family to put Maralyth on the throne, a bit of romance and destructive magic and you have a fun, enjoyable and interesting read. Now I'm not giving it five stars because it wasn't perfect. I feel like the romance could have been a little bit better, I also didn't find the magic Maralyth had very epic sometimes (view spoiler)[when she just kept putting people to sleep as an easy task it was a bit boring to me (hide spoiler)] and I wanted more of a magic system even though only a few people had access to magic. Perhaps I missed it but I feel like it wasn't explained or developed enough. I also found one particular decision at the end made by the Prince a bit anti-climatic and against what he did/said before which seemed weird but oh well, I still liked that ending. :) But anyway, The Stolen Kingdom was a really good standalone and if you're in the mood for a quick YA fantasy, this one might be for you! (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nite0wl29

    Hummm, well, this had such potential to be something amazing. The magic system was unique. Two wonderful main characters with point-of-views. A villain (or two) who could’ve been great. Lovable side characters. Sadly, everything fell flat. Several of the beginning chapters were nothing but politics and by the time I was 12 chapters in I just wanted the main characters Mara and Alac to meet. When they finally did the anticipation almost felt worth the build-up. Except the chemistry lacked sustenan Hummm, well, this had such potential to be something amazing. The magic system was unique. Two wonderful main characters with point-of-views. A villain (or two) who could’ve been great. Lovable side characters. Sadly, everything fell flat. Several of the beginning chapters were nothing but politics and by the time I was 12 chapters in I just wanted the main characters Mara and Alac to meet. When they finally did the anticipation almost felt worth the build-up. Except the chemistry lacked sustenance. Don’t get me wrong, I thought they were adorable and their interactions were sweet. But I’m not much of a fan of insta-love romances and all that did was cheapen the enemies-to-lovers aspect of the storyline. The climax...ugh. You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when the turning point of the book turned out to be anticlimatic. The villain’s death felt pointless and boring, as did the king’s death. After being absent for nearly 3/4 of the book I thought we would’ve gotten a chance to see just how horrible Alac’s father was since everyone feared him—nothing. Nada. Not even an epic battle of two sorcerers fighting over the throne. Even the romance felt weak as there was hardly any chapters left after the betrayal for Alac to rebuild his trust in Mara. I thought there was no way he could forgive her so easily after playing a hand in his family’s murder. Welp, I was wrong again. By the time their romance rekindled in the end I didn’t care. I think this should’ve been a duology and would’ve benefited greatly with better fleshed-out characters and world building than as a standalone. **Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Azanta

    honestly, i’m not totally sure how to feel about this book. it was a great plot and idea and almost reminiscent of Kingdom of the Wicked and City of Brass in terms of how vast and sprawling this standalone was. it was everything The Shadows Between Us was trying to be. but it was underdeveloped. there was so many scenes that were rushed — imagine you’re kidnapped and told you’re going to be queen after the king and two princes are murdered, when yesterday you were about to launch a small busines honestly, i’m not totally sure how to feel about this book. it was a great plot and idea and almost reminiscent of Kingdom of the Wicked and City of Brass in terms of how vast and sprawling this standalone was. it was everything The Shadows Between Us was trying to be. but it was underdeveloped. there was so many scenes that were rushed — imagine you’re kidnapped and told you’re going to be queen after the king and two princes are murdered, when yesterday you were about to launch a small business. you’d probably be in utter shock and and would time to process and make a decision. the MC was like “oh... okay!” and decided to be queen. there was no true motivation to become queen besides a love for her father’s vineyard and a desire to make life better for him and an apparent birthright. there were a lot of rushed scenes like that that i wish had been fleshed out more because this easily could’ve been five stars. i was actually invested though and read to the end bc i enjoyed it. so 3 stars all around, sadly.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Stolen Kingdom in exchange for an honect review. While I'm normally a huge advocate for more self-contained fantasy stories that don't require sequels/trilogies, this book needed to be two books. The Stolen Kingdom sets itself up to be a well written take on the "fantasy character ripped away from normal quiet life when they find out they have magical powers has to kill a leader but accidentally falls in love while acting as a spy" trope, but Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Stolen Kingdom in exchange for an honect review. While I'm normally a huge advocate for more self-contained fantasy stories that don't require sequels/trilogies, this book needed to be two books. The Stolen Kingdom sets itself up to be a well written take on the "fantasy character ripped away from normal quiet life when they find out they have magical powers has to kill a leader but accidentally falls in love while acting as a spy" trope, but so many things are rushed. Normally I'm okay with a bit of instaromance in these kinds of books, but because Boehme has clearly come up with a more complex, dynamic relationship that the plot needs to function, we flip from hatred to love to hatred to love way too quickly way too many times because of the short page count. This should have been 2 books so we could actually get to know the character and world. It would have fixed every issue I had with it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aundreya

    "I'd fallen for her from the moment she'd first stepped out of a carriage in the courtyard, and I didn't feel capable of unfailing. Every word poised on my tongue felt like it would lumber forth with a clumsiness that would let the world know that this girl unraveled me." The Stolen Kingdom is a remarkable approach to YA Fantasy and a stand alone. Two royal blooded lines hold magic. One given freely, pure and good.... one stolen, dark and wicked. Maralyth Graylaern has always known she hold a pow "I'd fallen for her from the moment she'd first stepped out of a carriage in the courtyard, and I didn't feel capable of unfailing. Every word poised on my tongue felt like it would lumber forth with a clumsiness that would let the world know that this girl unraveled me." The Stolen Kingdom is a remarkable approach to YA Fantasy and a stand alone. Two royal blooded lines hold magic. One given freely, pure and good.... one stolen, dark and wicked. Maralyth Graylaern has always known she hold a power unlike anyone else as she brings life the the nature around her family's vineyard. Until one day she is kidnapped and held against her will to take hold of her blood right... to be queen of Perin Faye. Alac Thungrave, second son to the crown, hates the dark magic that consumes his father and refuses to accept it. Until he meets a beautiful woman in court visiting for his brother's wedding, and realizes she may be the key to saving his family... and his future. Jillian Bohme has a unique writing style that is fun for all. Read if you like: -sweet romance -"clean" regency romance -a twist of magic and the fight of good vs. evil. -a curse so dark and lonely -the midnight bargain What was missing: I found the story very easy which was nice, but I think I just missed a bit of a PUNCH. ACTION!. The ending had potential but it sped through the climax rather quickly and by the end I just felt it left the pacing a bit off. I could have tapped 20 pages and still known exactly what was going on... heavy inner dialogue. Rating: story:⭐️⭐️⭐️ romance: sweet regency feeling romance steam: got me about as excited as looking at my 7th grade picture Song: I wouldn't Mind by He is We

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linnéa

    3,75 I really enjoyed this story. Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an arc! This is a standalone fantasy written from a dual perspective. We read from Mare's (Maralyth) perspective, a girl with a hidden power; and Alac, the prince and second son to the king who wields stolen magic. As the description reads, the story follows Mare as she is whisked up from her home and put into the centre of a plot to kill the royal family and overthrow the king. It is a story about court intrigue, magic an 3,75 I really enjoyed this story. Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an arc! This is a standalone fantasy written from a dual perspective. We read from Mare's (Maralyth) perspective, a girl with a hidden power; and Alac, the prince and second son to the king who wields stolen magic. As the description reads, the story follows Mare as she is whisked up from her home and put into the centre of a plot to kill the royal family and overthrow the king. It is a story about court intrigue, magic and forbidden love. What I did like was the writing. Jillian's writing is simple but still manages to suck me into the story. I enjoy the shorter chapters which keep me wanting more, and overall it is a fast passed story that is enjoyable. I enjoyed Mare and Alec as characters and I liked their interactions, but I do think that we could have spent more time developing their relationship. Some side characters were fun, but the length of the book, unfortunately, meant that we didn't fully get to know them. Being a person who likes character-driven stories, this lead to me not really connecting to the characters as much as I would have liked. It is a fairly short fantasy, meaning that it is fairly surface level. Since the author has to build a whole world within 400 pages, the worldbuilding is a bit info-dumpy and lacking in some areas, though I did like the world in general. I thought the magic system was unique and interesting, though very simple. The explanation we get for people having different magical abilities is that it is in their blood, we never get any explanation as to why people have different abilities and how they work. We just have to accept that the magic works the way it does and move on. This also means that the magic is very convenient; we don't know the limitations of Mare's abilities so it is very convenient when her magic is more versatile and she can do more with it than we believed she could. I think this is why it is not a full 4 stars for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie Prouty

    "Regardless of my attempts at guarding my heart, he'd wormed his way in." 3.5 stars The kingdom of Perin Faye is suffering under the rule of the Thungraves- a line of despotic kings that used their power to intimidate and manipulate. Cannon Thungrave is set to inherit the throne along with stolen magic and the dark secrets the come with it. Alac Thungrave, the kings second son, wants nothing to do with the throne or the magic that comes with ruling. Alac= the spare heir. Maralyth Graylaern, a vi "Regardless of my attempts at guarding my heart, he'd wormed his way in." 3.5 stars The kingdom of Perin Faye is suffering under the rule of the Thungraves- a line of despotic kings that used their power to intimidate and manipulate. Cannon Thungrave is set to inherit the throne along with stolen magic and the dark secrets the come with it. Alac Thungrave, the kings second son, wants nothing to do with the throne or the magic that comes with ruling. Alac= the spare heir. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, also has a secret: a hidden magical power. Mara finds herself in quite the predicament. She’s threatened...Save her beloved family and their vineyard or engage in a plot to murder the Thungrave boys so she can take the throne. The Stolen Kingdom the story of a lost heir and the fight for the throne. There are two shocking twists that are like and the FOOD. Salivating over goat cheese and delectable herbs, golden mushrooms stuffed with minced shellfish and cheeses, vanilla mousse, cinnamon biscuits, steaming tomato soup and thickly seeded bread with butter. Don't forget the wine! Red or white. I'm not picky. #IsThisAKissingBook- Let's just say the kiss is sweet as wine. The romance felt like the subplot and my preference is for romance as the main plot. I'm here for the food and wine! 🍷✨READ IF YOU LIKE✨🍷: -standalone YA fantasy -court intrigue -hidden identity -magic (dark & stolen, pure & good) -forbidden love -enemies 2 lovers -food & wine 🎶 Song: Cherry Wine by Hozier 🎶 Thank you Tor Teen for an advanced copy!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    I love stand-alone fantasy novels and The Stolen Kingdom is a fantastic example. It has everything you need from a complete trilogy or series: the intrigue and political scheming; romance which moves from enemies to reluctant allies to someone the other can wholly depend on; and there is also magic. Maralyth Graylaern is the daughter of a renown vintners. She has a head for business and a heart for making a difference to others. Ever since her mother died, Maralyth has been confined to the kitche I love stand-alone fantasy novels and The Stolen Kingdom is a fantastic example. It has everything you need from a complete trilogy or series: the intrigue and political scheming; romance which moves from enemies to reluctant allies to someone the other can wholly depend on; and there is also magic. Maralyth Graylaern is the daughter of a renown vintners. She has a head for business and a heart for making a difference to others. Ever since her mother died, Maralyth has been confined to the kitchen, except for when she can make a quiet trip to the vines and use her secret magic to help them flourish. Alac is a spare. His brother is set to inherit the thrown and Alac will only inherit should something happen to his brother. Alac wants no part in ruling the kingdom or the dark magic that forever changed him, but his father seems determined to teach Alac the ways of the dark magic and Alac is surprised by the pull it has on him. Maralyth and Alac are both heirs in their own way. Yet, neither are prepared for taking over the kingdom nor did either dream they ever would. Maralyth has dreams of being a business woman and making conditions better for small wineries. Alac dreams of becoming a vineyard owner and finally escaping the shadow of his father, the memories of who his father was before being consumed by the magic and the darkness that seems to pervade the castle. When Maralyth is unwilling drawn into a plot to overthrow the king, she has to choose to step up to her destiny and equally Alac must decide how much the crown really means to him. I thought the wine making aspect an interesting and original addition to the story. It gave both characters an instant connection -despite them not being able to talk about it much due to the secrets between them. It also gave the characters depth as they have this unique interest and are not just generic fantasy characters. I do rather enjoy a haters to lovers romance, but Maralyth and Alac are not really enemies - or at least Alac doesn’t know Maralyth is planning to kill him and his family. And Maralyth, while not supportive of the current ruling regime, doesn’t hate Alac, in fact she rather likes him and has to constantly (and I do mean constantly) remind herself to not like him. The Stolen Kingdom is a great standalone fantasy for readers to enjoy. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    The Stolen Kingdom was an enjoyable YA fantasy read. I enjoyed the premise and for the most part the world building was nicely handled. Some aspects of the world were mentioned but never expanded on, which was a shame, but none of them majorly impacted the story. Mara is a relatable heroine and I enjoyed her interactions with Alac. The dual POV between them worked well in allowing us to see the different sides of the story. Perhaps the ending felt a little sudden, but that's a minor gripe. Other The Stolen Kingdom was an enjoyable YA fantasy read. I enjoyed the premise and for the most part the world building was nicely handled. Some aspects of the world were mentioned but never expanded on, which was a shame, but none of them majorly impacted the story. Mara is a relatable heroine and I enjoyed her interactions with Alac. The dual POV between them worked well in allowing us to see the different sides of the story. Perhaps the ending felt a little sudden, but that's a minor gripe. Otherwise this was a book I had great fun reading and I would certainly pick up future works by this author. I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    A loose retelling of Aladdin, with an exciting adventure and well-developed characters. The addition of the magic and storyline of female-empowerment to this classic tale gave it a new edge and brought the original story into the 21st century. I enjoyed Arie, the main character, as an independent princess who wasn't afraid to voice her thoughts or get involved with the running of her kingdom. Her love interest, Kadin, was equally interesting and I liked that the story was told from both of their A loose retelling of Aladdin, with an exciting adventure and well-developed characters. The addition of the magic and storyline of female-empowerment to this classic tale gave it a new edge and brought the original story into the 21st century. I enjoyed Arie, the main character, as an independent princess who wasn't afraid to voice her thoughts or get involved with the running of her kingdom. Her love interest, Kadin, was equally interesting and I liked that the story was told from both of their perspectives. I would recommend this for fans of the Lunar Chronicles and To Kill a Kingdom.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Addie Yoder

    The Stolen Kingdom was a fast and exciting read for a snowy Saturday morning. I needed a little magic and Mara and Alac's fight for good over evil was exactly right. The story started a little slow for me, with trying to figure out the ins and outs of the world. But when the action started, it didn't stop. I liked thread of romance. I enjoyed the families and their history. But I do wish that I had FELT more for the characters and their relationship. This is one that I definitely think my teens The Stolen Kingdom was a fast and exciting read for a snowy Saturday morning. I needed a little magic and Mara and Alac's fight for good over evil was exactly right. The story started a little slow for me, with trying to figure out the ins and outs of the world. But when the action started, it didn't stop. I liked thread of romance. I enjoyed the families and their history. But I do wish that I had FELT more for the characters and their relationship. This is one that I definitely think my teens would enjoy. Rounding up from 3.5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Comfort food for the YA romance loving soul. Sometimes you just need a fun light read. This book was that for me. If you are in the market for something new with groundbreaking new plots and tropes this probably isn't what you're searching for. If you just want a book you know you're going to enjoy. This book was well written, had an enjoyable plot, stolen magic, and a sweet romance. I liked that it's a stand-alone book. I was wondering about halfway how Mrs. Boehme was going to get Maralyth and Comfort food for the YA romance loving soul. Sometimes you just need a fun light read. This book was that for me. If you are in the market for something new with groundbreaking new plots and tropes this probably isn't what you're searching for. If you just want a book you know you're going to enjoy. This book was well written, had an enjoyable plot, stolen magic, and a sweet romance. I liked that it's a stand-alone book. I was wondering about halfway how Mrs. Boehme was going to get Maralyth and Prince Alac to reconcile such enormous obstacles in the way to them becoming close but it was very well done. I almost wish there was a sequel because I'd like to see more of Maralyth and Alac and the kingdom of Perin Faye. On a personal note in the acknowledgments, Mrs. Boehme says she never dreamed she could write a book. She said her first attempt was terrible. This really touched me and I just want to say. Girl you didn't just do it, you did it GOODDDDD!!! I can't wait to see what you write next because you defiantly have a God-given talent!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Macmillan-Tor/Forge - Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved this book because it reminded me of The Covenant movie and how there was a bloodline of male witches which is similar here but it is a peasant girl part of the royal bloodline with magic in her blood and she has no idea its there. Maralyth's journey was so powerful, inspiring and romantic when she meets Alec who is the This book was received as an ARC from Macmillan-Tor/Forge - Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I loved this book because it reminded me of The Covenant movie and how there was a bloodline of male witches which is similar here but it is a peasant girl part of the royal bloodline with magic in her blood and she has no idea its there. Maralyth's journey was so powerful, inspiring and romantic when she meets Alec who is the current heir to the throne and they may have more to them then meets the eye. The drama starts and war breaks loose literally. If you are fans of Grave Mercy and Red Queen, this book is for you. It is one thrilling, magical ride that will take you away and not wanting to return. I can't wait to share this with our teen book club and hear their thoughts on it. I know there will be conversations sparked. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for a honest review. Maralyth has always known that she possessed a dangerous secret: she can perform magic, an act forbidden to all but the king of the land. What Maralyth doesn't know is that her ancestry, the source of her magic, will thrust her headfirst into the very centre of a deadly plot to claim the throne from an a cruel ruler. Maralyth soon finds herself plucked from her ordinary life on her father's I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for a honest review. Maralyth has always known that she possessed a dangerous secret: she can perform magic, an act forbidden to all but the king of the land. What Maralyth doesn't know is that her ancestry, the source of her magic, will thrust her headfirst into the very centre of a deadly plot to claim the throne from an a cruel ruler. Maralyth soon finds herself plucked from her ordinary life on her father's vineyard and forced to make life-and-death decisions which will affect not only herself and her family, but reverberate throughout the entirety of the kingdom. Despite the palace intrigue, Maralyth's path seems clear-cut enough until she meets her sworn enemy, Prince Alac, and realizes that restoring fair rule to the kingdom might not be as black-and-white as it appears. Right from the start, I appreciated that Maralyth was headstrong and determined character. Lord Nelgareth's plan hinged on using Maralyth as a pawn, and while she didn't initially have the full luxury of full autonomy while also keeping her family safe, she refused to be complacent and accept every cruel act as necessary. Maralyth's unwillingness to allow needless brutality and death gave her the tools to seize her power back, and carve out a new destiny for herself and her kingdom. Alac felt less well-developed, although the character was still an interesting one. I would have appreciated a further exploration of his motives and inner turmoil - even though he was a point-of-view character, I didn't feel like I fully grasped his thought process, and sometimes meaningful changes in his actions and emotions felt rushed and unearned. Alac was a character faced with a plethora of difficult decisions and I think the book would have been improved by giving more of a voice to his difficulties. The supporting cast didn't have much of a chance to shine, and seemed a bit one-note to me - for example, Tucker existed only to serve his prince and Nestar existed only to help his sister, with no further explanation provided. I would have appreciated it if the author had spent more time fleshing out the secondary characters and allowing them to shine. I was also disappointed to find that some plot elements were mentioned almost in passing but failed to receive much scrutiny and had little effect on the overall plot. I think the world-building of The Stolen Kingdom would have benefitted if further attention had been given to the consequences of the Thungrave rule, the unpopularity of a potential war, or the other reasons that led to unrest in the populace and set the story in motion. Ultimately The Stolen Kingdom was an enjoyable book, but I guess I just wanted more out of it - more exploration of Maralyth and Alac's characters, more three-dimensional secondary characters, more world-building. If the book had been longer and spent more time broadening its plot, I think it could have been a truly fantastic book.

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