I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. The Kingdom Lights is a YA Fantasy set in the realm of Gardarel. This mystical floating city is the home of Celes, a boy that discovers he’s an Invoker capable of powerful magic. Celes is sent to study magic at a school in the Kingdom of Lights. Besides struggling with a new school and trying to make friends while avoiding making enemies, Celes finds himself in the middle of an insidious plot that threatens his entire world.
Stephen writes in a classic tone which reminds me very strongly of CS Lewis.
The story is told from the point of view of young Celes, who tries to get by without being too much trouble. Although a meek boy when he arrives at Gardarel, over the course of his adventures he discovers inner strengths. The plot, although not fast-paced did have a good twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. The magical battles in the book were definitely the highlights.
Stephen does a wonderful job of making you feel part of the action during any of the combat scenes in the book.
The timeline felt too extended for me. Taking place over the course of a year, at times the plot skips a few weeks or months forward with very little to explain the actions in between. I would have liked to find out more about the magical systems and creatures. In the beginning of the book I didn’t feel very attached to Celes, but he definitely captured my heart when he began showing his true colours.
I have to admit young adult is not a genre I particularly enjoy, but this book had me rooting for Celes, and the descriptions of the settings transported me into another realm. This book is aimed at young readers, who will easily relate to Celes’s struggles with making friends and finding his own place in the world.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who ever enjoyed classics like CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia or Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five.