Goddess crown by Shade Lapite

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I really enjoyed Goddess Crown and read it in one sitting. It is wonderful to have a shorter stand-alone book that will appeal to teen readers. Kalothia is an engaging young woman, who has been hidden away in the forest with just two adults and a bodyguard for company. She is determined to escape and find her parents who she believes have sent her into isolation to protect her from King Osura and enemies at the court of Galla. When her hiding place is attacked and her guardians murdered, she must use her survival skills to defend herself against the assassins who determined to kill her.

With a fast paced and exciting plot, the reader is immediately drawn into the life and character of Kalothia, becoming breathless when she faces danger from the assassins and the intrigue of the royal court. Kalothia is skilled at fighting and believes she can look after herself but will brutal fighters, the threat of poison and a patriarchal and dangerous court be too much for her to overcome?

Lapite, with her British-Nigerian background, has skilfully built up a believable world of lush forests and a society where a man must accompany women when they go out and where women have little power. At times of extreme danger Kalothia is guided by the Goddess who appears and speaks to her, telling her of her destiny to change her country for the better, and these supernatural moments are interwoven with everyday events.

With a combination of adventure, themes of feminism, a touch of romance and a strong, charismatic main character, Goddess crown is very difficult to put down. Readers who enjoyed Twin crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber, The Queen's rising by Rebecca Ross, and Three dark crowns by Kendare Blake are sure to enjoy the themes of monarchy, while The Beasts of prey series by Ayana Gray, will also appeal.

Themes: Escapes, Fugitives, Kings and queens, Adventure, Court intrigue.

Pat Pledger