A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life.
Crackling with dark magic, unspeakable betrayal, and daring twists you won’t see coming, this explosive YA fantasy debut is a can’t-miss, high-stakes epic perfect for fans of Strange the Dreamer and Children of Blood and Bone.
“Magnetic and addictive. This book is black girl magic at its finest.”—New York Times bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton
Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.
But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it—by trading away years of her own life.
Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford.
Set in a richly imagined world inspired by whispered tales of voodoo and folk magic, Rena Barron’s captivating debut is the beginning of a thrilling saga about a girl caught between gods, monsters, and the gift and the curse of power.
“Masterful.”—SLJ (starred review)
About the Author
Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama, where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena has an affinity for good cheese, wine, and nature. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French. Find her online @renathedreamer or at www.renabarron.com.
“Magnetic and addictive, Kingdom of Souls turns ambition into sacrifice and blood into power. Magic is always worth the price—and the pain—and this book is black girl magic at its finest.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles
★ “Masterful. From start to finish, this magical debut is not to be missed.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Powerful. Captivating. Heart-wrenching. Rena Barron has crafted a thrilling, twisty, unputdownable epic about a complex, brave young woman who must find the true magic within herself in order to fight for her family, her people, and her life.” — Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate & Other Filters and Internment
“A tough-as-nails protagonist overcomes odds stacked heavily against her in this captivating debut.” — Booklist
“Barron’s lush prose and boundless imagination enchant the reader with a vivid world, compelling characters, and twists to keep you reading all night. Kingdom of Souls spellbinds with fresh and dazzling magic.” — Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of Frostblood
“Set in a lushly drawn and fresh magical world, Kingdom of Souls was a wild, heart-wrenching ride. Every turn took me by surprise, and these unforgettable characters face a complex evil that threatens from both without and within. Readers won’t be able to put this one down.” — Mindee Arnett, award-winning author of Onyx & Ivory
“Lush, captivating, and full of my favorite things: a vivid world, a cast of compelling characters, and a young heroine ready to rise and fearlessly fight for her beliefs. This powerful coming of age story lingers long after the final page.” — Rebecca Ross, author of The Queen’s Rising
“Crackling with tension, this masterpiece of escalating stakes doesn’t pull its punches.” — Rebecca Schaeffer, author of Not Even Bones
“Driven by intricate mythology with meddlesome, vengeful gods. Fantasy fans will find a refreshing, beautifully crafted setting in this novel.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books