I’m a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope and this book is an amazing example of a well executed enemies to lovers! With magic, murder, and mayhem, this book is a rollercoaster told from two POVs – the prince of the stolen kingdom and the girl set to take it back.
I received an e-ARC from Tor Teen through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to share my review and 15 thoughts I had while reading The Stolen Kingdom! Be sure to check out the other posts for this tour and follow along with the schedule here!
The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme
Published: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy
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 cacao farmer’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.
We open up with Maralyth (Mara), the daughter of a vinter (wine maker) who wants nothing more than to be able to take over her Father’s vineyard. There’s just one problem, she’s a girl and she has magic. No one can know her magical secret, but that doesn’t stop her from using it to help her Father’s business and provide the best wine in the kingdom – that is, until someone sees her using it and kidnaps her from her home, forcing her to go along with their coup and plan to take over the kingdom and place Mara as Queen.
Then we have Alac, the king’s second son and back up heir to the throne. His brother is getting married and Alac can’t wait for him to take over so he can pursue his passion – wine making. But a few weeks before the wedding, the King calls Alac in and gives him an amulet to keep him safe, should anything go wrong. The amulet is dark and there’s something off about it, so Alac does the only reasonable thing and opens it. Dark magic spills out and confirms Alac’s worst fears: the stolen magic has turned bad and if it gets out it will destroy everything.
I loved the plot of this book. I loved the dual POVs it has and the back and forth we see from Mara’s plans to Alac’s cluelessness, both unaware of what the other knows and what their intentions are. Both hate the way the kingdom has been stolen and want to return the magic from where it came, but with each of them unaware of what the other has planned, things get a bit chaotic. One thing I really wanted to see was Mara’s royalty training. Going undercover in the castle means knowing what to do and what to say and I wish we saw those mix-ups and interactions as Mara learns how to be royalty. She picks up on it very quickly and while she might say the wrong thing, in Alac’s eyes, she blends right in.
Another thing I really loved is the way Alac and Mara are drawn to each other. Mara, knowing Alac is her enemy, can’t seem to keep away from him and Alac can’t get enough of Mara. The enemies turned friends back to enemies then lovers trope is excellent and I want more of it. I also loved the description of the magic. For Mara, it’s life, healing, and growth, but when it’s with Alac it’s death, decay, and destruction. The dichotomy between the magic in its natural form versus stolen shows the danger that our characters and the kingdom are truly in, especially if it manages to get out.
Overall, I loved the storyline. I read this book in between packing and work because I could not put it down, I had to know what was going to happen next. If you’re looking for a great fantasy, with enemies to lovers, and dark magic you should definitely pick up this book!
If you need more motivation to get this book, here are 15 thoughts I had while reading The Stolen Kingdom:
- Ohh magic!
- Oh. Magic. That’s not good.
- Wait what!? They kidnapped her!?
- Well, that makes sense. No wonder she has magic.
- Oh yikes, I would not want to wear that locket.
- It made a grape DECAY!? Ok, this is really bad.
- Ah, a coup. What everyone wants to be blackmailed into doing.
- I feel bad for her family, they have no idea what’s going on.
- Aww, he likes her!
- Aww, she likes him!
- Oh this is gonna end badly.
- EW EW EW EW GROSS
- So now he’s changed his mind? Don’t do it!
- Well that was a twist…
- Aw yay! Happy ending!
Jillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors.
In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home.
She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.