Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Interview with Rena Barron for Kingdom of Souls

Kingdom of Souls

by Rena Barron
Publicist: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend, where one girl must sacrifice her life, year by year, to gain the power necessary to fight the mother she has never been good enough for.

Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, Tomi Adeyemi and Black Panther


Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can't even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

Can you briefly describe KINGDOM OF SOULS and the characters? 

Kingdom Of Souls is about sixteen-year-old Arrah who hails from a powerful family of witchdoctors, but she doesn’t have magic of her own. When the Demon King threatens her kingdom, she must trade years off of her life in exchange for the magic she needs to stop him. But each trade brings her closer to death and to a devastating truth. Arrah, the main character, has a complicated relationship with her family. Although, she does have a great group of friends around her, including Rudjek, her love interest, Sukar and Essnai, her friends from the tribal lands, and Majka and Kira, who grew up competing in the arena with Rudjek. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why? 

Arrah’s grandmother is one of my favourite characters. She’s the leader of her tribe, strong, iron-willed, patient, and always has a trick up her sleeve. 

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

The story was inspired by tales of people in my community who practiced voodoo and the stigma around the tradition. Although it was always talked about in a negative light, I found myself drawn to it. It was both scary and fascinating. In a sense, this story is my exploration of my coming to terms with how those tales shaped my perception of my family’s West African roots. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be? 

Elastic Heart by Sia 

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters? 

Arrah – Yara Shahidi 

Rudjek – Marcus Scribner 

Oshhe (Arrah’s father) - Idris Elba 

Arti (Arrah’s mother) – Kerry Washington 

Sukar (Arrah’s friend) – Tequan Richmond 

Essnai (Arrah’s friend) – Coco Jones 

Majka (Rudjek’s friend) – Nadji Jeter 

Kira (Rudjek’s friend) – Erika Tham 

Fall is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

Since KINGDOM OF SOULS deals with some heavy topics, the perfect book date would be someplace to unwind and relax. My pick would be a rooftop lounge sipping sangria made with sparkling grape juice, oranges, apples, and cherries. 

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently crafting some more twists and turns for Arrah and her friends in the second book in the Kingdom Of Souls series. I’m also drafting the second book in my middle grade contemporary fantasy which debuts with Maya And The Rising Dark in May 2020.

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French. Follow her at @renathedreamer and 

Rena prefers not to be tagged in reviews to save her sanity.

She is represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.


  1. It sounds like this is just stuffed with magic and danger! I have added it to my TBR!

  2. This is on my TBR as the premise sounds amazing!