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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Fifth Kingdom is a collected box set of novellas in the fantasy, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Lisa M. James. Written for the young adult reading audience, the works are highly suitable for all types of readers and take them through four novellas towards the fascinating titular legend. We meet protagonists Lucinda, a princess, and Matthew, a prince of a different kingdom, as the pair begins a fascinating exploration of another land, lost to legend, and once ruled by an ancient Queen with a dark history. When old spirits rise with destruction on their minds, so begins an incredible quest to come together and save their homelands.
Author Lisa M. James has crafted a fantastic series of stories that are hard to put down once you’ve dived headfirst into their magic and mystery. There’s an excellent balance of modern versus pseudo-historical in the fantasy setting, delivering relatable characters with true vulnerability against a world where darkness looms to consume everything and everyone in it. The four novellas each tell a particular segment of the adventure in a nicely rounded-off way, delivering an episodic story that grows with tension, atmosphere, and action in every new installment. Even at its conclusion, the cinematic descriptions, dynamic dialogue, and emotional storyline of the central pair will certainly have YA audiences and fans coming back and demanding more from this highly engaging series. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Fifth Kingdom to fantasy fans seeking a total package for thrills, emotion, and action galore.