Today I’m excited to participate in the Creative Blog Tour for Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson hosted by MTMC Tours. Kingdom of Essence is the first book in a New Adult Fantasy Adventure series and it was released in Audiobook on May 20th, 2022.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Elitsa Serlov only cares about two things — earning enough money to start a new life and finding the rogue mage who murdered her mother. But years without leads have left her jaded, and she won’t let anyone — friend or foe — get in her way.
In Casekraia, anyone can use magic if they’re desperate enough to rent relics from the Tower, a corrupt guild of mages more concerned with their own wealth than the welfare of the people. Elitsa has spent the last three years as a reclamation agent for the Guild, hunting down her own people for precious coin and the hope of uncovering what happened to her mother.
Just one week before her contract with the Tower is set to expire, Elitsa is coerced into a dangerous conspiracy by a gang of rebellious thieves. With her loyalty to the Tower in question, Elitsa must decide between her quest for revenge and charting a new course for her life.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
I found the Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson an enchanting young adult fantasy, full of action, adventure, and secrets to uncover. It has plenty of twists and turns to shame a bestselling thriller.
Karlsson manages to spin everything into this tale – an angry young girl fighting to make sense of the world after her mother’s demise, a power tussle between the Guild of mages and the King and the plight of hapless citizens caught in between, a group (or two!) of rebels conspiring to tip the balance (towards whom?), friendship, loyalty, and magic.
Yet, the tale never goes out of Karlsson’s hand. She deftly spins an intricately layered story. Every time I felt the story becoming too complex to follow, she would solve one mystery only to baffle me with another on the next page. Lo and behold, I had no choice but to keep on flipping the pages and find out the root of all the mayhem happening in Casekraia.
“This trip is the start of something magical; I can feel it”,Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson
so says, Pipene, Elitsa’s best friend at the end of this book. Needless to say, Karlsson does not finish the story in the Kingdom of Essence. However, it does not end with a cliffhanger and that’s a relief. Like Pipene, I would heartily venture into another magical adventure crafted by Karlsson.
The Kingdom of Essence features superb world-building resulting in a lush fantasy replete with visually stunning fight sequences and ultra-daring heists. The refreshingly original magic system is the star of this story and is complemented by well-developed characters.
There are so many characters here that my mind was reeling from remembering their names and affiliations. However, by the middle of the book, everyone finds his place.
Of all the characters, I liked Elitsa the best.
“Turn your back on the wolf, and it will give chase. She’d never run from a fight before, and she wouldn’t start now.”Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson
Elitsa is the true definition of a badass heroine. I could feel her anger and sense of not belonging anywhere. I empathized with her when she always questioned herself after reclaiming relics/payments from her fellow suffering citizens. She is smart, quick-witted, compassionate (even if she does not show it), and loyal.
The story has romance too, but it is not the focus here.
At the beginning is a map to entice a true fantasy fan. At the end is another treat – an index explaining the various terms used throughout the book.
Finally, the cover. Look at it! It’s beautiful. It captures everything about this book. Once you finish reading it, you’ll understand.
Although I did find the book dragged a little, however, I am willing to overlook it as I had a good time reading this book. I heartily recommend the Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson to lovers of YA fantasy.
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Adventure || Pages: 376 || Published on May 20th, 2022 (audiobook)
Listen to an Audiobook excerpt!(Audiobook narrated by Kate Reading)
Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
INTL Tour-wide Instagram Giveaway!
Enter the Rafflecopter here where two readers will win a physical copy of Kingdom of Essence sent via Amazon. Ends on July 9th, 2022. Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter & contacted via email.
Holly Karlsson writes epic and adventure fantasy filled with magic, dangerous quests, compelling characters, and mythical creatures. Holly is the author of the Daughters of Fire & Sea trilogy, and Kingdom of Essence.