The Kingdom of Back
By: Marie Lu
My Rating: FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
Best for: 14 and up
I love fantasy.
I love historical fiction.
I love music.
I love to be surprised.
I love learning new things.
I love books that inspire me.
The Kingdom of Back is all of those. I loved this book!
History has been kind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His music continues to uplift and inspire 250 years after he composed it. He was a child prodigy, and was taught by his father, Leopold, who wrote these words: “My [child] plays the most difficult works which we have…with incredible precision and so excellently…although only 12 years old, is one of the most skillful players in Europe.”
One of the most skillful players in Europe. In the age of Bach and Beethoven. At age 12.
Except Leopold wasn’t talking about Wolfgang.
He was talking about his daughter, Marianne.
Mozart had a sister? Who was his equal in talent? Who also toured with his brother and played before Kings and Queens in the courts of Europe? Who, in letters by his hand, was asked by Wolfgang to send him compositions she wrote?
It’s true. Wolfgang had a sister who was his equal in talent.
And history has forgotten her.
Marie Lu steps away from her usual YA novels to do something perfectly wonderful: she gives Marianne Mozart a new voice.
The Kingdom of Back was the name of an imaginary place Wolfgang and Marianne invented together to entertain themselves as they toured via coach across Europe. Marie Lu discovered this fact, and turned The Kingdom of Back into a real fantasy world that was a source of inspiration for the musically gifted siblings.
This story is quite whimsical, a bit abstract, full of imagination, and a wonderful merging of fact and fantasy. It’s magical, mysterious, and scary. I loved the journey Marianne had to take to make peace with her place in history despite her greatest desire…
To never be forgotten.
No content concerns aside from some scary moments. I think this story will speak to many.
It definitely spoke to me.
14 and up.