|Kingdom of Back|
Author: Lu, Marie
Desperate to be forever remembered for her music, Nannerl Mozart makes a dangerous pact with a mysterious stranger from a magical land, which may cost her everything.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 507240
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2019 The author’s name recognition, a beautifully evocative cover, and a feminist angle on Mozart’s older sister, Nannerl (a talented pianist and composer in her own right), will have readers grabbing for Lu’s latest title. Basing her story loosely on facts—Wolfgang and Nannerl were indeed very close, the children were in fact paraded through the courts of Europe, and their father absolutely did not nurture what could have been a wonderful musical career for Nannerl, because of her gender—Lu uses the Mozart children’s history as backdrop for what is primarily a fantasy revolving around a Faustian deal. Nannerl meets the compelling Hyacinth, princeling of an enchantingly beautiful magical kingdom that she and Wolfgang visit, and he agrees to help her achieve recognition of her musical talent—for a price. Betrayal, illness, and estrangement follow, and Nannerl ultimately accepts her fate as a wife and mother rather than musician and composer. An affecting epilogue finds Nannerl a grown woman with children of her own, revisiting her beloved brother’s memories and the disintegration of her own dream.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As Lu adds to her ever-expanding repertoire with this historical fantasy, her legion of fans will only grow, too. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 7 Up—Sci-fi/fantasy heavy-hitter Lu brings her talents to historical fiction in this magic-infused telling of the lives of the young Mozart siblings. Nannerl Mozart, elder sister to Wolfgang, is skilled enough at the clavier that her father believes she could gain renown as a child prodigy. Her passion for music extends beyond her exacting father's expectations—she composes music in secret, dreaming of achieving fame despite it being a craft forbidden to women. But as she grows and Woferl's superlative talents begin to become apparent, Nannerl realizes that it is assumed she will eventually abandon her art to become a wife and mother while Woferl pursues musical glory. Hope arrives unexpectedly one quiet afternoon when a magical world opens up to the siblings: the Kingdom of Back, a faerie realm illuminated by twin moons, populated by forests of mysterious trees whose roots stretch up into the sky, with edelweiss blanketing the ground. Hyacinth, the mysterious fae-like boy who inhabits the forests, promises that if Nannerl completes tasks for him, he will grant her deepest wishes. But as the years pass and events in the Kingdom of Back correspond unsettlingly to real-world calamities, Nannerl begins to question Hyacinth's true motives and weigh her intense desire to be remembered against potential consequences and her fierce love for her brother. Lu strikes a perfect harmony between fantasy and historical fiction that is at once satisfyingly intricate and excitingly paced. In Nannerl she has created a passionate voice that will resonate particularly with readers learning to wield small defiances as the large weapons they can be. VERDICT A beautifully composed historical fantasy that will enthrall readers, especially those with music in their hearts. A first purchase.—Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.