Kingdom of Souls (Hardcover)
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.
The lush world building of Children of Blood and Bone meets the sweeping scale of Strange the Dreamer in this captivating epic YA fantasy debut.
Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.
There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.
She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.
Inspired by tales of folk magic in her own community, Rena Barron spins a darkly magical tale perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns or Shadow and Bone, about a girl caught between gods, monsters, and her own mother’s schemes.
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.”
“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