Princess of Souls

from the author of To Kill a Kingdom, the TikTok sensation!

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Pub Date 11 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 11 Oct 2022
Bonnier Books UK, Hot Key Books

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Description

Return to the world of TO KILL A KINGDOM for a brand-new fantasy adventure about a young witch groomed to steal souls for an immortal king and the reckless, rebellious boy to whom her fate is tied.
For sixteen years, Selestra has been trapped in her tower on the Floating Mountain, preparing to take her mother's place as the King's Witch, who foretells deaths in the Festival of Predictions. Outrunning your fate earns a wish and the chance to steal the King's immortality. But die and your soul is forfeit. And though thousands have tried, nobody has ever beaten death.
A soldier in the King's army, Nox is an unlikely candidate for the Festival, but, driven by revenge, he is determined to steal the King's immortality and kill the entirety of his court, starting with Selestra.
Yet when Selestra touches Nox in her very first prediction, their fates become entwined, and death seeks to take both their souls. Only by working together can they survive long enough to escape the dark fate and the immortal King that now hunts them.
A feast of storytelling, featuring breathtaking journeys, nail-biting battles and powerful magic.
Return to the world of TO KILL A KINGDOM for a brand-new fantasy adventure about a young witch groomed to steal souls for an immortal king and the reckless, rebellious boy to whom her fate is tied.
...

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ISBN 9781471411991
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Back in the world of To Kill a Kingdom and my heart could not be happier! This book hooked me from the get go, I was so excited to see Christo had returned to this world and it was just as exceptional as I thought it would be. Thank you for letting me read this, I am so very grateful.

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For sixteen years, Selestra has been trapped in her tower on the Floating Mountain, preparing to take her mother's place as the King's Witch, who foretells deaths in the Festival of Predictions. Outrunning your fate earns a wish and the chance to steal the King's immortality. But die and your soul is forfeit. And though thousands have tried, nobody has ever beaten death.

A soldier in the King's army, Nox is an unlikely candidate for the Festival, but, driven by revenge, he is determined to steal the King's immortality and kill the entirety of his court, starting with Selestra.

Yet when Selestra touches Nox in her very first prediction, their fates become entwined, and death seeks to take both their souls. Only by working together can they survive long enough to escape the dark fate and the immortal King that now hunts them.

Return to the world of To kill a kingdom. So this isn’t a sequel but is from the same world, so you don’t have to have read To kill a kingdom, which was great as I read it years ago and couldn’t remember much about it.

From the first page I was hooked. The writing is incredible. The story is based around Selestra, a witch bound by her ancestral magic to serve an immortal evil king. Her mother the reigning witch, feeds the immortal king souls, but when Selestra‘a fate becomes untwined with a rebellious young soldier out for revenge, she begins to see a way out of the centuries old curse and a way to live her life on her own terms.

I honestly fell in love with the characters. It actually gave me Throne of glass vibes so perfect for fans of that series.

Definitely recommend pre ordering this book now.

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Selestra and Nox are the perfect pair. She’s a witch’s heir locked in a tower and he’s the charming soldier coming to save her. I loved their interactions and the way the story weaved through the past to connect them in the future.
I really enjoyed the world building and the magic. Great story overall 💕

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Selestra has been locked up in a tower for most of her life, as the heir to her mother’s powers and position of the Kings Witch. It’s not a job she really wants, particularly as she only gets it when her mother dies, and what few powers she will get until then only emerge on her 18th birthday.
When her future accidentally becomes connected to that of a Last Army soldier, Nox, she begins to see that there’s more to the world than just the castle she’s lived in. And she finds she wants, and needs, more.

This is a really fast moving, enjoyable, magical read. It is very dark, with the stealing of souls to keep a greedy king immortal, but it also gives you hope that good could, and should, win over evil every time. The characters of Selestra and Nox, as well as Micah and Irenya, are endearing and likeable. I love that Nox is shown as an equal to Selestra, who in turn is a very capable and caring young woman, despite her upbringing. Excellent world building, and enjoyable fantasy read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I absolutely loved To Kill a Kingdom so naturally had to request this one on Netgalley.

The book reminds me of a cross between Tangled and Scooby Doo the movie, now I don’t know if that’s what the author was going for but they worked so good together! Selestra has been locked in a tower all her life as heir to the King’s Witch. For years her family has been bound to the king, predicting death for his people as they enter a trial of death. If you survive you win a wish and the potential to become the next ruler, if you die you forfeit your soul. Nox isn’t like the desperate people who enter the trial and when Selestra is asked to read his future she finds her fate entwined with his. As truths are uncovered they both have to find a way to survive the King after their souls.

First of all, I absolutely love the writing style, as I did with the first book. It’s just so easy to read and makes the book flow so well. The plot was really interesting, but it did feel the author tried to cram too much into the book. This caused certain scenes to feel rushed and lack depth, I think the scenes on the island could have been developed a little bit better and the bonds that were formed there.

The characters were well written and I liked the fact Selestra wasn’t completely naïve. Nox was a great male lead and I liked the fact he was an equal to Selestra. The book was funny at times and sad at others, making the book at overall amazing read.

Overall, the book is an amazing edition to the world Alexandra created in To Kill a Kingdom and I can’t wait to find out what other kingdoms there are.

Thank you so much to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I got sent this book as an ARC through NetGalley however this will not affect my review and I will be completely honest about my thoughts!

I was super excited when I saw that Alexandra Christi was bring out a new book set in the same world as To Kill A Kingdom as I really enjoyed that book and I was even more excited when I got approved for an early copy!!

Princess of Souls follows a young witch named Selestra who has been groomed to eventually take over from her mother as the immortal King’s witch who can foretell death.

There is a festival of predictions every year where people from the kingdom can come and offer their souls and receive a prediction for the witch about how they will die. If they can escape death then they are rewarded with a wish and an opportunity to steal the King’s immortality, however this has never been done.

This year, Nox, a soldier in the King’s army comes to take part in the festival, motivated by his want for revenge he plans to steal the king’s immortality and kill his court, including Selestra. When Selestra gives him his death prediction, she also see her self dying alongside Nox and realises that they are intertwined in their fates and in their deaths.

Now they must, reluctantly, work together to keep each other and themselves from dying.

This has enemies to lovers, it has a good friendship group with nice dynamics.

It has good character development considering it is a fairly short stand alone fantasy book. This book does have very similar themes and relationships to the authors other book and whilst this was a little disappointing there was a reason her fist book did so well and it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it.

I would say this book got into the action a lot quicker and kept me hooked until the final page. It was an easy read and had all the things I enjoy in a fantasy without the really heavy world building or so many characters that you forget whose who.

I think the author has really stepped up her game in this book and I would definitely recommend this especially if you enjoyed ‘To Kill A Kingdom’ and you should 100% keep an eye of for this when it comes out in October 2022.

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The story is loosely based on Rapunzel, and whilst reading I noticed a few similarities, but they were very subtle, from scenes mirroring the tangled movie, to some character traits in Nox and Selestra.

At the beginning, Nox is very deceitful but also charming, which makes it easy to grow fond of him as a reader. He is witty, in an annoyingly lovable way. The chemistry between him and Selestra was good, but felt it was a little rushed. I would have liked to see more focus on the side character's (Micah and Irenya) as I feel they were undeveloped, despite being in a lot of the story. The few moments they did communicate with Nox and Selestra were always very light and humorous, which broke up a lot of tension.

The world building was one of my favourite parts of the story, it was vivid and easy to imagine everything. The creatures that appeared in the story and the areas they travelled to were all very detailed, especially the scenes set outside in the forests.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but felt that there were moments that were rushed and brushed over to get to the conclusion and so would love to read more about the king, the mythology and the other parts of the world, whether that be another book or a book set in the same world.

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Princess of Souls is a loosely based (very loose) fantasy retelling of Rapunzel, starring Selestra, a witch whose visions allow her to witness the deaths of anyone she touches. When she touches Nox, she intertwines their destinies and sets off a chain of events that will change their Kingdom forever.

I loved this book! My only qualms were that the ending felt a bit rushed and the side characters were not explored fully. I would happily have read another 200 pages for this to be fleshed out a bit more. Also, with that ending, I feel there is definitely the opportunity for a second book or even a spin-off set in the same world again. I know this was set in the same world as To Kill a Kingdom, but I didn't notice any overlap apart from the mention of sirenas. (Though it has been a while since I read TKaK so I may have missed some).

The world building was excellent and I loved the unique magic systems. The description and imagery was lush, especially of the magic forest. The plot was engaging and the whole book was easy to read, I read it in one day. I loved the refreshing take on Rapunzel. There are a few explicit comparisons, like locked in a tower, long hair, overbearing mother etc, but it was a very different story compared to the original fairytale.

I thought Selestra and Nox were well written and the King and Theola too, but I would have liked more background for Micah and Irenya. I loved the vibes between the four friends and I'd have liked to see more interactions between the four of them. All in all it is a very enjoyable book, I would love to see more!

Thank you to NetGalley and Hot Key Books for allowing me to read an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I rate this book 4.25 stars. It was a fun story, inspired by the tell of Rapunzel, mixed in with amazing magical system about witches.
Princess of Souls was a book I enjoyed a lot. The magic system and the world (which is the same as in To Kill A Kingdom, how cool is that?) are explained beautifully. It is a different take on the tipical witch story. The witches in this book have the unique tallent to see how someone will die and it was quite a refreshing take. I also loved the fact that the main character Selestra and the other witches have green hair and snake-like eyes! It was a fun choice and I, as a person who loves creativity in how people present themselves, was glad to see it. We sure need more fantasy heroins with unique atributes.
I loved the characters, though I feel like we need more to fully connect with each of them. As much as I loved Selestra and Nox and their relationship, I barely felt any connection to the more important side charachters that were the MCs best friends. Considering this is a standalone, it's understandable. I still wish for just some more interaction between the main characters and the side characters.
Overall, this book was so so good. It's always fun and nostalgic to read a classic YA fantasy book - and I mean classic in the way it makes the reader feel. It's hopeful and lighthearted and inspiring.
Also worth mentioning, I like this book even m0re than To Kill a Kingdom, which was also great. I also think it's funny that both books have a big conflict between mother-daughter. That is definitely one thing I'd want to see different in another book by Alexandra Christo.

This is a voluntary review! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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For sixteen years, Selestra has been trapped in her tower on the Floating Mountain, preparing to take her mother's place as the King's Witch, who foretells deaths in the Festival of Predictions. Outrunning your fate earns a wish and the chance to steal the King's immortality. But die and your soul is forfeit. And though thousands have tried, nobody has ever beaten death.

A soldier in the King's army, Nox is an unlikely candidate for the Festival, but, driven by revenge, he is determined to steal the King's immortality and kill the entirety of his court, starting with Selestra.

Yet when Selestra touches Nox in her very first prediction, their fates become entwined, and death seeks to take both their souls. Only by working together can they survive long enough to escape the dark fate and the immortal King that now hunts them.

“Princess of Souls” by Alexandra Christo is a hugely enjoyable tale of fantasy. It is the first book I’ve read from this author but I’m always on the lookout for new fantasy authors and I’m keen to read the author’s other novels now. I guess you could label this Young Adult but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. I’m a huge fan of all things fantasy and I thoroughly enjoy all approaches to the genre, whether it be high, epic, grim dark and contemporary. All I ask for is that the tales draw me in and transport me to another place, allowing me to get caught up in the story and this book did that very well. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys fantasy, regardless of sub genre.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an unbiased review.

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★★★★★ 4.5/5

Sixteen year old Selestra is heir to the king's witch. Upon turning eighteen, she, like her mother and their ancestors before will be bound to the king, forced to take part in the Festival of Predictions each year. The festival is managed by the king and his witch, Selestra's mother, who as the king's witch gives predictions to those taking part, foretelling the participant's deaths. The aim is to avoid your fate and receive a wish, and if the participant so chooses and they make it to the end of the month, an opportunity to take the king's immortality for your own. Few have succeeded and lived long enough to earn a wish, but no one has ever come close to taking immortality for themselves, and defeating death. 

For Selestra, who has spent most of her time trapped in her tower upon the floating mountain is resigned to her fate, knowing that any other outcome is impossible due to her ancestor's vow. She, like her mother, belongs to the king, and just like her mother, Selestra will become cold and heartless when she takes her place as the king's witch. 

For Nox, a soldier in the Last Army, the Festival is a chance to not only seek revenge, but a chance to finally depose the king and his witches. Yet when Nox steps forward to receive his prediction, so begins the challenge of outrunning not just the king, but death. With his fate suddenly tied with Selestra's, both Nox and Selestra see a way to survive and free them both, but it means working together and trusting that both are on the same side. 

As a massive fan of To Kill a Kingdom, I was more than ready to jump back into the world with new characters and a new adventure. And, whilst this is set in the same world as To Kill a Kingdom, there's no pressure to read it as Princess of Souls is a story all its own, and both novels are standalones, with everything wrapped up by the end. This makes the book perfect for anyone just discovering Alexandra Christo, and it also gives them a brief glimpse into what to expect from To Kill a Kingdom, if they choose to read it. 

Princess of Souls is easily in my ever growing list of favourite books this year. It had everything I want in a novel, from beautiful world building, to in-depth main characters, there wasn't a single flaw or area I thought needed a little more to it. It's full of magic and adventure, and each chapter alternates between Nox and Selestra's POV, giving insight into both characters and allowing them to grow and reveal more of themselves to the reader. 

The pace is perfect. There's never a dull moment, and there's no long passages of lore in the first few chapters that you're expected to remember as you read, as for me it's often a deal breaker when reading.  There's nothing worse than having to constantly flip back to the beginning to familiarise yourself with the world because it's all shoved into the beginning. (The only thing I'm happy to flip back to the beginning for is a map, and everyone loves a map.) 

As a loosely based Rapunzel retelling, there are some similarities, but they're subtle and it's not a main factor into the plot, so don't let that put you off. It's a great book with an enemies-lovers romance and a desire to right the wrongs of ancestors past. 

Did I like the book? Yes

Did I love it? Yes! It had everything I wanted and more. Magic and adventure, predictions and fate.

Would I recommend it? Definitely. Even if you haven't read To Kill a Kingdom, Princess of Souls is a novel that will suck you in immediately and refuse to let go until the very last page.

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I loved To Kill a Kingdom, so when I saw that there was another book set in the same world, I went insane. This book did not disappoint; I found myself devouring it in a single day.

This bewitching, loose re-telling of Rapunzel, focuses on Selestra; a witch whom has been trapped in a castle for years, stealing souls to feed the King. Selestra can predict the deaths of those whose souls she plans to take, so when she for-sees her own death alongside Nox (a solider in the Kings army), she realises their fates are entwined and she must save him to save herself. This begins our journey into this beautiful fantasy world. Alexandra Christo does a wonderful job of describing this dark, twisted fairytale world, weaving in elements of magic and romance throughout. I particularly enjoyed the enemies to lovers between Selestra and Nox, especially their witty banter.

This was such an easy read and quick to get in to; dare I say I liked it better than To Kill a Kingdom?? Perhaps. This was easily a 5 star read, and I highly recommend this to fairy tale retelling fans.

I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Another brilliantly written book!
It was gripping worldly and I didn't want it to end.
I can't wait to see what's next from author.
The fight scenes were well done! It had non stop action an easy book to sink into.

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Nox blinks. “Are you flirting with me?”
I roll my eyes. “I’m threatening to kill you.”
A lazy smile spreads across his lips. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference with you.”

Selestra Somniatis is the only heir to her mother’s magic; a magic that can foretell a person’s death by touch and harvest souls, but which is sworn by the blood oath of her ancestors to serve the corrupt king of the Six Isles once she turns eighteen. She is kept in a castle tower, forced to wear gloves and avoid human contact, but when Selestra crosses paths with the roguish Nox, a talented soldier in the Last Army on a mission for vengeance after the death of his father, she realises she must escape the prison she has been kept in by both her mother and the king, and follow her own path towards her destiny.

I absolutely loved this book. I knew I would as I loved To Kill a Kingdom, which is set in the same universe, but Alexandra Christo really knows how to deliver a gripping first line and it was no different with this book! Princess of Souls is a YA tale of identity, family, power and betrayal, and the snarky back and forth dialogue between Nox and Selestra was just *chef’s kiss*. I would whole heartedly recommend this to lovers of YA fantasy, enemies to lovers and found family tropes, and AC has definitely become an autobuy author for me.

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Q: If you were Rapunzel and you were stuck in a tower, how would you spend your days?
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For sixteen years, Selestra has been trapped in her tower on the Floating Mountain, preparing to take her mother's place as the King's Witch, who foretells deaths in the Festival of Predictions. Outrunning your fate earns a wish and the chance to steal the King's immortality. But die and your soul is forfeit. And though thousands have tried, nobody has ever beaten death. A soldier in the King's army, Nox is an unlikely candidate for the Festival, but, driven by revenge, he is determined to steal the King's immortality and kill the entirety of his court, starting with Selestra. Yet when Selestra touches Nox in her very first prediction, their fates become entwined, and death seeks to take both their souls. Only by working together can they survive long enough to escape the dark fate and the immortal King that now hunts them.
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Did I read this book in about a day? Yea. Yeah I did. Did I also stay up until 1 in the morning to finish it? Yes. Yes I did. I absolutely adored this book!! I read To Kill A Kingdom last year and absolutely loved it so when I got approved for this arc (thank you hotkeybooks) I was so excited to dive back in to Christo’s writing as well as the fantasy world. This book was such an easy read and it was so perfectly crafted. I loved everything about it, from the protagonists to the antagonists to the side characters and to the world building! Christo has perfectly written what i think is bound to be one of the best YA fantasy books of the year. I have so many favourite moments but Nox being cute at the 64% mark really did something to me. Selestra and Nox individually are amazing and strong and fierce but together they are unstoppable. And do you know what else is good? She doesn’t lose powers because of a man. That’s always a win in fantasy books!! Princess of Souls is out on October 11th! And you should definitely pre-order your copy now! I definitely will be doing so when I get paid!!

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Thank you netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. I have loved previous books from this author so I was really excited when I got an arc of this one, and it didn’t disappoint. I loved everything about this from to characters to the plot and how it developed, and I can’t wait to see what this author produces next. Because of this it is an easy 5/5 stars for me.

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Thank you so much Bonnier Books Uk + Netgalley for providing me with this E-ARC I am eternally grateful. I feel extremely lucky that I got to read this book before it is released and it was AMAZING. This was just the perfect fantasy book and now i’m sad that it’s over because I loved it so much. This carried out the Rapunzel re-telling perfectly, with a few parallels to tangled I often spotted, and an amazing take on it. This book was perfect for me, the short chapters, dual POV told from first person perspectives, with lovable characters, perfectly carried out character arcs and enemies to lovers romance that was carried out in the best possible way. The main characters romance was carried out perfectly and I loved the tension and angst. This book also had an extremely interesting world and magic in it which I loved very much. There’s so many good things I could say about this book - I just couldn’t put it down and I loved it so much - definitely one of my favourite fantasy reads, if not the favourite of mine I feel so lucky I got to read this book before the release date, I can tell it is going to be very popular. My one critic as a few typos and there is this one chapter I think around chapter 20, told from Selestra’s perspective, when Nox and Selestra are on the king’s ship, where it mentions that Selestra sees her mother. However after this chapter she just miraculously disappears without Selestra or Nox fighting/communicating with her and with no mention that she ever left - so I think it should just be mentioned in the chapter that Selestra could no longer see her mother / that she disappeared or something as it felt edging onto a plot hole when there was no mention that she had left the king’s ship. However apart from that, this book was absolutely amazing and nothing else of it needs changing in my opinion.
I’m going to miss the characters and this book so much knowing that it’s probably a standalone - so I will definitely be purchasing a copy when it is released to re-read as this book was so good!

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I really loved and enjoyed To kill a kingdom so I was quite sure that this too wouldn’t disappoint and nobody is more glad about it more than me. I really loved and enjoyed it. It was fast paced, full of excitement, action and mystery. I just can’t seem to put it down except read and finish it in a single sitting. So yeah, I loved it that much.

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I am going to get the negative out of the way first so I can focus on the many things I LOVED about this book.
If I were to say the characters of this book were completely original and new I would be lying. The main plotline of overthrowing a tyranical ruler whilst the protagonists gain a new understanding of themselves and their power is almost identical to that of Christo's incredible debut To Kill A Kingdom. Furthermore, in terms of characters, Nox is practically a reincarnation of Elian, not to mention the two very similar mothers in both novels.
HOWEVER, and this is a huge caveat, I did not care one bit whilst reading this book.
The style of Christo's writing is wonderful. The story captures the reader from the first instant, there is quickfire action, witty dialogue, detailed and relatable characterisation, and incredible worlds that I long to explore. Additionally, the story was empowering and exciting and written with elegance. The descriptions brought each element to life without being overly wordy or dull as Christo's word choice was careful and well considered. Lastly, Selestra and Nox are even more lovable that Elian and Lira. Their relationship is wonderful to experience and I found myself grinning like a lovestruck teen when they finally had their first kiss.

Overall, "Princess of Souls" is wonderful addition to any YA or fantasy lovers bookshelf. I highly recommend.

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