Welcome to the Kingdom, a dazzling fantasy theme park where ‘happily ever after’ is not just a promise, but a rule . . .
The Kingdom is a place where technology helps dreams come to life. Formerly extinct species roam the park, and twelve beautiful ‘Fantasists’ – half-human, half-android princesses – entertain visitors and make wishes come true. But this fairytale ends in murder, and now Ana, one of the twelve Fantasists, is in the dock after finding herself experiencing emotions and romantic feelings against all her programming . . .
Told through court testimony, interrogation records and fragmented flashbacks, The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg has the futuristic appeal of Westworld and the twists and turns of a true-crime thriller.
The Kingdom is brilliant. Highly imaginative, a true genre hybrid that takes in layers of pretty much all my favourite types of stories and mashes them up into an intense, page turner of a read that is entirely gripping.
In a twisted version of Disneyland, the fantasists, hybrid girls, make dreams come true every day. In a kingdom of the exotic and the extinct, people come to escape the drudgery of the destroyed outside world. But there’s a dark heart lurking beneath the magic and Ana finds herself accused of murder…
Jess Rothenberg takes her central premise and then proceeds to twist it around an entirely human story.. One of learned emotions and the hidden depths of our very nature. Told in flashback, trial transcripts, interviews and footage we slowly see Ana’s awakening and the events that lead her to that courtroom..
It is an extraordinarily fascinating plot with crime fiction, fantasy and sci-fi elements blended to perfection and told with immersively beautiful prose. Immediately you will get hooked into this darkly delicious tale, with it’s thought provoking underneath and it’s scarily authentic possibilities.
I loved every moment of it, the ending only wetting the appetite for more from this world, it is both beautiful and gritty, a Grimm fairytale indeed…
Intelligent, with emotional plotting and characterisation, The Kingdom is a must read and Jess Rothenberg is an intuitively talented writer.