A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
Beautifully written historical fiction/fantasy starring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musical prodigy sister
What's the story?
As THE KINGDOM OF BACK opens, Nannerl Mozart is a gifted teen musician whose virtuosity impresses the nobles of Europe. Unfortunately, she is overshadowed by the genius of her younger brother, Woferl, even though she's in some ways the better composer. Dismissed because of her age and gender, Nannerl can't help but feel resentful, and when she meets a mysterious stranger called Hyacinth, she confides that her greatest wish is to be remembered forever. That confession has unexpected ramifications, and soon she and Woferl are brought to an enchanted kingdom to do Hyacinth's bidding. Soon, Nannerl will have to weigh her ambitions against Woferl's health and decide how to make her mark in music.
Is it any good?
Some of the best stories can be found in history's footnotes, and this intricate historical fantasy uses the early childhood of Mozart as a springboard for an enchanting tale of sibling rivalry. In The Kingdom of Back, the relationship between Woferl and Nannerl is described with insight and sensitivity. Author Marie Lu expertly mixes fantasy and fact as she follows the struggles of Nannerl in her efforts to build a legacy that will last forever. Heartbreaking, rapturous, and witty, The Kingdom of Back is a major change of pace for Lu, completely successful and worthy of a wide readership.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Kingdom of Back presents an alternate history of European music. How do authors use fantasy to offer a different perspective on history?
Why have women been excluded from participating in business and the arts? How have they struggled against such oppression? Are women still excluded in some areas today?
How do artists find sponsorship for their art? Is it important for individuals, charities, and governments to support them?
- Author: Marie Lu
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Arts and Dance, Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: March 3, 2020
- Number of pages: 383
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 8, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love historical novels and fantasy
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.