Book Review | The Kingdom Of Back by Marie Lu

Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Age Level: Young Adult
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.5 out of 5 stars


Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

As Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


Marie Lu weaves classical music, politics (not in a boring way), and magical fantasy together in a beautiful novel about Nannerl, Mozart’s older sister. I could not put this one down! It was so magical, intriguing, and fantastical.

As a fantasy lover and a classical musician, this story sucked me in right from the beginning. The meticulously researched historical and musical facts made this story very real and made it seem like these magical elements along with this storyline of Nannerl actually happened in history.

As a woman, Nannerl was always a shadow behind Mozart and was not allowed to compose her own music. This was devastating to her because she, like Mozart had an early skill and passion for composing music. Putting myself into her shoes, it must be frustrating and heartbreaking to not be able to express yourself or be recognized just because of your gender. Thus, the magical world of the kingdom named Back and a mysterious boy lures her in amidst this struggle.



After reading this book, not only was it a refreshingly magical story, it also caused me to reflect upon the real Nannerl’s life. There isn’t a lot of information on her and she was definitely not as famous as Mozart – was that because of the same reasons in this novel? Could she have really written many pieces of music that were just hidden or destroyed?

Map of the Kingdom of Back

Overall, this is a creatively imagined story that will not fail to whisk you away to another world. If you enjoy historical history and fantasy, this one will not disappoint!

Have you read this one before? What did you think?


Published by Andrea's Book Corner

Lover of books, book reviewer, book blogger & YA fantasy author in progress! WIP: Project Arenegedden

6 thoughts on “Book Review | The Kingdom Of Back by Marie Lu

  1. Great review! This one’s been on my tbr for a while now so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have to admit I love the idea of this – a book about Mozart’s sister and fantasy? Sign me up! Thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

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