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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Jeneria: The White Citadel is a fantasy novel by Bradley Kim. It centers on young protagonist Jenn, who moves with her family to the mighty city of Denethgilne for her father to find work and lift them out of the country-wide poverty caused by a great war in the past. At first Jenn is excited by the city and the new friends and opportunities it brings her, but soon she discovers that Denethgilne has a city within a city, a place Jenn will wish that she had never discovered. It is here that she’ll see the real reason why the rest of the great city seems so peaceful and idyllic, where the Highers and their strict laws keep total control of the city-dwellers, by any means necessary.
Author Bradley Kim has crafted a slow-burning tale filled with suspense and vivid descriptions of Jenn’s new world, and though the action takes a while to kick in, it’s well worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed his cast of characters, who felt like real people that were easily imagined in my mind, and I found that I genuinely felt connected to young Jenn as her adventure unfolded. I felt it really added something to the story to see it told through such young eyes, where adult readers can piece together the darkness of the inner city before Jenn’s innocent mind can work it all out. Jeneria: The White Citadel is, at its heart, a grisly tale of utopia gone wrong, but it is told with the graceful innocence of childhood, which makes it all the more chilling.