Arkaz by Barakat Akinsiku
Genre: YA MultiCultural Adventure
A young princess. A forced betrothal. The quest for survival.
Princess Kaella of Yatz's serene world comes to a grinding halt when her tiny village is invaded by forces of the Great Sol, an arch rival of Arkaz, under whose rule her village falls.
Fleeing for her life and from a forced betrothal, she teams up with unlikely allies, searches for her kidnapped sister and hopes to bring back help for her village...
My Review: Princess Kaella is on the verge of being betrothed to the man of her dreams, but upheaval in her kingdom combined with a vicious betrayal threaten all her plans. Now Kaella is forced to choose between love and family, between happiness and duty to her kingdom. With the fate of many resting in her hands, Princess Kaella must grow up far too soon.
Arkaz is the first in a series for young adults. It's based in an ancient African kingdom where evil witches cast spells, where war is a constant worry, and where young women reach marriageable age at only fourteen. When we meet Kaella, she is preparing for her betrothal ceremony in which she will become officially engaged to marry Yassir, the young man of her dreams. Unfortunately for Princess Kaella, other plans are in the works. She has to make a heartbreaking decision in order to save her family, and as a consequence, she destroys the trust of someone she holds dear.
As the first book in the series, Arkaz leaves a lot unfinished. However, I do find the ending satisfactory. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger, so I felt the author found a very good stopping point. There's definitely more adventures in store for Princess Kaella and her entourage and I can see tons of potential with this series and its cast of characters. At times, some of the characters felt a little one-dimensional to me, but I think this is because the plot moved very quickly, particularly toward the ending. I'm looking forward to learning more about Kaella as she faces the challenges ahead.
If you're looking for a fast-paced, action-packed book with diverse characters and a unique setting, Arkaz might be just what you're looking for.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Author Information: Barakat lives in Lagos with her husband, twin sons and pretty daughter. An avid writer, she relaxes by reading a good book, watching documentaries and sketching designs. She is the author of The Surrogacy Deal and Arkaz.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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