Review of Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle

I felt fear seep into my skin before my next question manifested. “Do you want to marry my brother?”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to marry anyone.”

Kingdom Cold – Brittni Chenelle

Stats

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Edition 
  • 276 pages
  • Expected publication: February 14th, 2019
  • ASIN B07L87KQLJ
  • Edition Language English

About

From the author, “Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent.

When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart?

One must fall.


My Thoughts

People who are only charming when it suits them aren’t charming at all.

Kingdom Cold – Brittni Chenelle

I wanted to desperately like this book. The cover was cute; the story sounded interesting and enticing, and the character’s where culturally diverse, but it didn’t sing for me, and that’s ok. Not all stories sing for every person who reads them.

The story follows a cast of royalty through an arranged marriage, betrayal, war, unrequited love, and then eventual marriage. There are many bumps on the way, much like a tamer and more kind version of Game of Thrones.

There are some excellent parts of this story. Firstly, Chenelle wrote a very diverse story culturally. The two leads of the novel, Prince Gray and Princess Charlotte are of Asian and African heritage respectively. I like that; I also like how Chenelle wrote the settings, memories, and environments of the characters reflecting those upbringings. It is not something you often see in literature, and it is not something you see done that isn’t ham-fisted. The author was not throwing up her diversity flag yelling, “hey look at what I did!” She wrote it with class and sensitivity as is befitting. The characters culture is not a thing, it is a part of who they are, and that is how it should be written.

Secondly, I liked the leads in the story, especially Gray. Gray changed and developed as a character; he became more of himself if that makes sense. I love his progression as a person and leader and felt like he was an exceptional counterpart to Princess Charlotte. Charlotte also demonstrated growth. She started the novel as a typical teenage child with ordinary problems and ended as a scarred, but more emotionally mature adult.

Thirdly, the love story was charming. I don’t want to give too much away, but as the story progresses and the characters mature the bond that develops between the personalities is written well and is lovely.

I felt my skin prickle beneath his unwavering stare. He gave nothing away. Something hot radiated from my forehead down to my chest as if my body understood his message but my brain didn’t know how to translate it.

Kingdom Cold – Brittni Chenelle

The good of the story did not outweigh what did not work for me. I had a difficult time with the points of view changing from chapter to chapter. On the one hand, the multiple points of view were there to lend many voices to the story and/or scene, but they sounded very similar in much of the book. So it became both confusing and repetitious. It did get better as the story progressed, but I found it difficult connecting with any one character aspect because of the shaky beginning.

Also, I found that the story lacked the necessary detail to build a clear picture of events. We hopped from moment to moment before I could get a visual representation of the scene in my head. Again, this led to a disconnection to the characters and the setting.

The plot progression was strange for me also. The events of this story could easily fill three books but are reduced down to a distilled short single book. This seems like an awful missed opportunity. It would have made a killer trilogy.

Brittni Chenelle wrote a solid YA love story. Although the story is plagued with technical problems like pacing, POV, and lack of detail, the central love theme was successful, and the ending comes as quite a shock. Give it a try. It wasn’t for me, but maybe it will be for you.


Procurement

An eARC of this novel was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author

1. She lives in South Korea.
It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture. 

2. She’s a Type 1 Diabetic.
She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her. 

3. She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction. 
Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story. I wouldn’t normally believe it but when browsing some of her old pictures, you can find pictures of her with a mysterious red ribbon tied to her wrist.

4. She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate. 
She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.

5. She loves video games, anime, and cosplay.
Favorite games: League of Legends, Stardew Valley, Pokemon. Favorite Anime: Avatar the Last Airbender, Your lie in April, Full Metal Alchemist. Cosplay: She once dressed as Korra from Legend of Korra. She’s hoping there will be more brown characters for her to cosplay in the future.
 

6. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master’s in Creative Writing.

7. She’s working on a Manga/Anime style novel with about 100 images included. 

8. Sorry guys, she’s married. 
If you ask her, she’ll tell you her husband saved her life but everytime someone asks “how” she gives a different reason. I’ve overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy. 

9. She posts awesome travel pictures on her Instagram. 
Her username is @brittnichenelle. You’re here because you love her unique way of seeing the world, now you can see it in picture form! This is especially good if you have an interest in Asia since that’s where most of her pictures are taken. 

10: Brittni, why did you become a writer?
“I write because I would go crazy if I didn’t. The body is limited but the mind is free to roam among dragons and fairies, it can soar through the air, and breathe underwater, and hold onto love in even the worst conditions. I guess that’s why, because books are not bound by the rules of reality and I am addicted to the freedom– seduced by the possibilities.”

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