Book Review || The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

Monday, August 9, 2021


The Kingdoms

Natasha Pulley

3rd August 2021

This one was... a ride. And a half. Back and forth through time.

I'm not really sure how much to say about this one, for two reasons - 1. I think part of the reason I enjoyed my time with this one was because I had no idea what to expect; and 2. I haven't the foggiest idea of how to explain this book.

I can't deny that Natasha Pulley's writing is gorgeous, and she creates really intriguing, well-rounded characters - all with flaws and difficulties that they don't necessarily want to overcome. Part of the reason that I kept reading for so long was just that the writing was so darn beautiful and just kept pulling me back in.

However, after each reading session, I just had this overwhelming feeling of ' I reading? what is happening?' - and questions similar to this. Part of that I think is intentional - Pulley doesn't necessarily want you to get your feet in this story, or at least, not have them for long. Every time I felt like I had figured out what was happening, something changed and I was immediately just baffled again. Joe, the main character, is experiencing this along with us, and so having the reader be as confused (if not more so) than the main character is a good way to keep us reading - wanting to know what happens.

Sure, yes, I get that (I hear you saying), but you said that was just 'part of it', right? Yes indeed. I couldn't help feeling just a bit alienated by all this sleight of hand and continually moving ground (much like I was on a ship, which also features heavily in this book). It started to feel a little like 'well, I can't seem to get my feet under me for very long, so why should I continue to care what happens?' It just felt a little like I was being forcibly thrown out of the story sometimes, which I didn't appreciate.

I still read to the end, though, didn't I? And I loved the ending a lot, even though I am still confused. And the character of Kite is brilliant, I adore him and the way Pulley wrote him.

So, would I recommend this book... I honestly don't know. All I can say is that I did enjoy my time with the story and the characters overall, but I am still confused as to what I just read. Take that as you will.

7/10 unbroken lighthouses.

{I received a review copy of this book from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you!!}

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