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Kingdom of Souls #2

Reaper of Souls

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After so many years yearning for the gift of magic, Arrah has the one thing she’s always wanted—at a terrible price. Now the last surviving witchdoctor, she’s been left to pick up the shattered pieces of a family that betrayed her, a kingdom in shambles, and long-buried secrets about who she is.

Desperate not to repeat her mother’s mistakes, Arrah must return to the tribal lands to search for help from the remnants of her parents’ people. But the Demon King’s shadow looms closer than she thinks. And as Arrah struggles to unravel her connection to him, defeating him begins to seem more and more impossible—if it’s something she can bring herself to do at all.

Set in a richly imagined world inspired by spine-tingling tales of voodoo and folk magic, Kingdom of Souls was lauded as “masterful” by School Library Journal in a starred review. This explosively epic sequel will have readers racing to the can’t-miss conclusion.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published February 16, 2021

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About the author

Rena Barron

6 books959 followers
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.

Rena is the author of the YA fantasy series, KINGDOM OF SOULS and the contemporary fantasy middle grade series, MAYA AND THE RISING DARK.

Check out the World Map and World Guide for KINGDOM OF SOULS at http://kingdomofsoulsbook.com/

Check out the activity guide for MAYA AND THE RISING DARK at http://renabarron.com/maya-and-the-ri...

Rena prefers not to be tagged in reviews to save her sanity. Follow her at @renathedreamer and renabarron.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 196 reviews
August 18, 2021

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That moment when the title of book comes into play. 😏

I quite enjoyed KINGDOM OF SOULS and was excited to read the sequel, REAPER OF SOULS. KoS was surprisingly brutal for a YA book and the negative reviews complaining about this were actually what ended up selling me on it. In a market that has become increasingly derivative and safe, I'm always down to check out authors who feel like being more experimental and daring. There's a long list of triggers for the book (which I tried to mention in my review), but if you can stomach such content, it's a pretty solid debut-- especially for fantasy.

RoS, on the other hand, was kind of a disappointment. Like the previous book, it took forever to get moving, but unlike the previous book it lacked the immediacy and it didn't really need to lay out all that world-building a second time. KoS had two really imposing villains and some super intense scenes to back up their evil-doery. On the other hand, RoS has already established those stakes, so I was kind of hoping for more action and less world-building. Arrah was a flawed but compelling protagonist and I feel like in this sequel, she ended up falling kind of flat. Rudjek, on the other hand, became much more interesting but he couldn't carry the narrative slog alone.

As with the previous book, RoS doesn't truly get good until the last half-- especially the last 15%. But I don't think it's worth plowing through. An editor really should have shaved a lot of the repetitive scenes from this book. It was shorter than the previous book (which I think was 500 pages?) but still way too long for what it accomplished. I'm not sure I'll be reading the next book in the series.

2 stars

Profile Image for Rena Barron.
Author 6 books959 followers
November 26, 2020
A prince repelled by magic. A king bent on revenge. A witchdoctor who does not walk alone.

I am super unbiased, and I think this book is pretty good. :-)

Visit the Kingdom of Souls website for quizzes, book club questions, and other fun goodies.

Check out the Kingdom of Souls Universe Guide for definitions of terms used in the book.

Reaper of Souls US cover

Reaper of Souls UK cover
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
212 reviews107 followers
April 26, 2021
I was so excited to read Reaper of Souls as I was completely enthralled by the first book in the trilogy. I have to admit, while the book had a lot of strong points, it didn't fully live up to my expectations and pales in comparison to Kingdom of Souls. I think my problem is that objectively it is exactly the sort of interesting, twisty book that I usually love but it just failed to engage me and all the aspects of the first book that I loved weren't as compelling to me in this one.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5

In this book Arrah was a lot more mature and also much wearier and worn out by all that she had been through and all that she had yet to do. Haunted by her past actions, it was interesting to see Arrah realise that the magic she had sacrificed so much for was a double edged sword that she couldn't trust herself to wield only for the good of others. Comparing her decisions at the end of this book to her decisions at the start of Kingdom of Souls it was clear how far she has come and how her outlook on the world has changed. The only thing that didn't diminish for me in this book is how much I love Arrah. She wasn't perfect, she made reckless decisions and did morally questionable things but she was also strong and loyal and in her heart she wanted the best for everyone. I like how she was at one with herself and owned her mistakes even as she often walked the fine line between hero and monster in the eyes of others.

This book was also Rudjek's time to shine- he even had chapters from his perspective. In the previous book I felt like he was less self-assured so I liked how he stepped up in this book and came into his own, taking on leadership and initiative. I liked how the barriers between Arrah and Rudjek being together were explored and how they communicated about it but I didn't love their relationship as much as I did in book one. As I was reading I became less and less engaged in their romance and cared less and less about whether or not they'd get to be together.

I read most of Kingdom of Souls in one sitting unable to stop and desperate to find out what would happen next. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for Reaper of Souls. For most of the book I wasn't engaged by the plot and there were many points whilst reading where I was so close to DNFing but didn't because I remembered how much I enjoyed the first book and convinced myself it would get better. However, near the end of the book there were some good plot twists and I think the book ended on enough of a strong point to convince me to read the final book in the trilogy when it comes out. The thing I disliked the most about the plot was Dimma and the Demon King's story. I can't really explain why without spoiling too much but even though it was an important part of the storyline I didn't like the focus being taken off of Arrah and Rudjek because they were the ones I cared about.

Although it built on the same ideas as Kingdom of Souls- magic being a gift and a curse, the corrupting nature of power and love that destroys as well as heals- I liked Reaper of Souls but nowhere near as much as the first book. However, I would recommend fans of book one to give the sequel a chance because I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who enjoyed it more than I did.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

This review and more can be found at my blog Sereadipity!!!
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
579 reviews257 followers
Want to read
July 13, 2020
After the incredibly cardiac ending that we had in Kingdom of Souls I can't wait to get my hands into this sequel... I suffer that I have to wait until next year.

I have so many hopes for that glorious love triangle that I can't even begin to express them. Especially because I haven't been excited about a love triangle in a long long time. And I need more information on Daho.

The only thing that bothers me about this book is the cover... I'm not a fan of this style of covers. Hopefully, another edition will have a prettier one as the first one did.
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
494 reviews668 followers
May 9, 2021
One thing I love about this series is that the world is lush. I love when a fantasy paints a clear picture of it's setting. I think one of Rena Barron's strengths is creating the atmosphere with food, clothes, the hustle of the market place. The magic system is well thought out and it's fascinating reading about how it formed. It's not oversimplified nor overly complex.

This time the story splits the narrative between Arrah and Rudjek's POV's with flashback's that give the orisha Dimma's memories. I thought this format was much better because it allows us to become familiar with Rudjek. While I still wasn't fully convinced of his love story with Arrah; I felt more of a contention to him. He like Arrah was also discovering his powers. Rudjek's anti-magic powers prevent him and Arrah from touching and being around each other long. How can their love survive when they can't touch? Then the changes in the Kingdom and Rudjek's family coming in to power provide another obstacle against them. Arrah sets off to explore the tribal lands to look for survivors after hearing that some may have escaped. While Rudjek is hunting down a demon army.

I liked Dimma's memories because she had a relationship with the Demon King who is the big antagonist in this story. Arrah and her friends have an image of him based off the stories told to them however she shows the loving and vulnerable side of him.

Every time I was infuriated at this book and wanted to scream, "Why is this happening?!" it turned out that what was happening was truly a bigger part of the overall plot and not just some meaningless plot point to be forgotten. Just like the last story this was full of twists and red herrings. Every time I thought I knew what was going on I realized I had no idea. I love when a fantasy can keep me fully engaged throughout. This story did a very good job of balancing action and emotional beats. Neither side is completely good or bad in this story. This is a phenomenal follow up and I look forward to book 3.

Profile Image for Chad.
7,717 reviews868 followers
March 1, 2021
A solid continuation of the series. Arrah and Rudjek are both dealing with the powers they came into in the last book and how they repel each other when all they want is to to be together. Both of them swiftly go off on their own missions to deal with the fallout of the last book and the Demon King's plans. There's a lot here dealing with reincarnation, past memories, and possession, all of which I don't find that interesting. Those types of stories have become very cliche at this point. Still the book is well written and engaging.

Received a review copy from HarperTeen and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,648 reviews405 followers
March 26, 2023
A lot was going on in the first book, and the pace and craze didn't slow. The hardest part was the circular search for the tribes and the lack of much voice narration change between characters by the single narrator.

Arrah is still the strength, and her internet struggles with her power were well written and enjoyable to read about

Rudjek is still struggling with who he is, to the point that he is less strong of a character to read about in many sections.

Dima (not sure about this spelling since I did audio) was a fascinating backstory character, and honestly, I wish there was more to her. Even if it was more of the female narrators, as they were the strength, but I wanted more.

There should NOT be this much setup for a second series novel to accomplish still. Tightening that up and speeding up the pace would have helped this book immensely.

The content and ideas are good overall, and I will continue to see what book 3 has in store.

3-3.5 stars for me.
Profile Image for Pia.
91 reviews33 followers
December 27, 2021
"Hope is daunting in the face of desperation, yet I cling to it, no matter how withered and how small."

(If my partner does not go to the lengths Daho goes to for me, I do not want it.)

This book did not disappoint. Wow is the only thing I am feeling right now. Rena Barron took the criticism of the previous book about the slow pacing and made me hold on for dear life with this because the plot was moving, twists and turns were made, and I had to speed through the book to know what will happen.

The story is a sequel to a rich African mythology-filled Kingdom of Souls and it follows Arrah on her path to find the remaining tribal people after a war with her sister. The story is told from two POVs, which was personally a good move because it provides a look into Rudjek’s perspective – something that I would’ve liked to see in the first book as well – and we can have a closer look into his battle with the demon army. The latter is controlled by the Demon King, also known as Daho, who will set the world on fire just to get back to his lover Dimma who happens to be reincarnated as Arrah.

Barron really outdid herself with this book. I gasped and had to put the book down to gather my thoughts so many times throughout the story. I honestly do not have anything negative to say about this book.

My only hope is that Daho and Dimma can get their happy ending (I am a sucker for “I will watch the world burn just to make her happy” villains and I stand by it).

Also, look at the cover for this book -- it is to die for.

I cannot wait for the next book.

~ 5 stars
Profile Image for Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk).
1,412 reviews2,300 followers
October 3, 2021
Fantastyczna seria młodzieżowa z mitologią afrykańską w tle, dla miłośników pełnych tajemnic opowieści young adult.

W „Królestwo dusz” i kontynuującego opowieść „Żniwiarza dusz” można zanurzyć się z prawdziwą przyjemnością, chociaż myślę, że młodsi czytelnicy (dla których cykl jest w końcu przeznaczony) lepiej odnajdą się w tej historii niż dorośli. W końcu to opowieść o dorastającej dziewczynie, która walczy z własnymi niedoskonałościami, próbując stać się kimś w swojej jakże wymagającej rodzinie. To także opowieść o samotności w swoim poświęceniu i młodości, której kres czasami nadchodzi zbyt wcześnie. Kto przepada za opowieściami pełnymi mroku, czarnej magii i walki o przetrwanie, ten w cyklu Reny Barron odnajdzie wszystko, czego szuka.
Profile Image for Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader.
707 reviews58 followers
February 6, 2021

This sequel picks right up from where Kingdom of Souls left off. The battle ended, and the war is still raging though war always comes with a price. Arrah is trying to save Sukar from his wounds, some at her own hand. Essnai is supporting Arrah, while Rudjek is at the mercy of his father’s politics and doing everything in his own power to protect Arrah. (To be fair though Rudjek really is too strong and stubborn to be at anyone’s ‘mercy’)

The book is seriously an emotional roller coaster though and Barron once more smashed my soul as she did in the last book. If you want to know why...you’ll have to read and find out or if you’ve read it just guess. Or I can spell out spoilers with my tears. Half jk.

This amazing sequel is coming out in less than two weeks so please keep it in mind for your TBR! It does not disappoint and it was just as amazing as the first book. Thanks so much to Rena Barron, NetGalley and Harper Voyager UK for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
March 8, 2021
Holy cow.

Just like Kingdom of Souls, I devoured and fell in love with Reaper of Souls. This did not get hit by the second book syndrome and that's probably why I'm so happy right now. Hot damn - this book was so freaking good!

Even though I have said I hate love triangles, like all the time - on repeat, I couldn't get enough out of this one. I just feel like this has so many elements to it that I'm never bored or annoyed with anyone for a long period of time. Sometimes I feel like I get whiplash from certain events that happen but it just sucks me into the book that much more.

I'm also really happy that there's another book because if this ended as a duology, and I got the ending I just read, well - I would be completely pissed and disappointed. I still have plenty of questions that need answers. I also really need more adventures, craziness, and betrayals (and such) from all these characters.

It's seriously a crazy ass ride and I loved every single second of it. Ugh, I'm so mad that I finished this book so quickly and have to wait for the next one to come out. Waiting sucks donkey balls.
Profile Image for christina.
780 reviews
December 1, 2020
I received an ARC from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Kingdom of Souls Universe Guide

I was really anticipating this sequel, after book 1's climatic ending. However, I was disappointed that Arrah resorted back to questioning her self worth, decisions, and whether or not she should even have magic for the entirety of this book. I was expecting Arrah to rise like a phoenix after the end of book 1 and be this bad ass with a new exciting love interest, similar to A Court of Mist and Fury. (that did not happen) I wasn't really a fan of Rudjek and Arrah's love story in the first book, and unfortunately that continues through to the second book, along with Sukar now having feelings for Arrah as well. (an unnecessary love triangle/square) I was really hoping that Daho the Demon King was going to get an awesome redemption arc and him and Arrah were going to destroy all the orisha, but Daho and Dimma seem to be just as crazy as the rest of the orisha. I was also really disappointed with Arrah's decision at the end of this book, and honestly without Efiya -it didn't feel like there was a real villain. I'm still invested enough in the series to read the final installment, but was bummed this one didn't live up to my expectations.
Profile Image for Allison.
45 reviews7 followers
March 4, 2021
The world building in this story is amazing!! Lots of Plot twist and jaw dropping moments.
Profile Image for Eilidh.
284 reviews80 followers
February 21, 2021
”Once there was a broken boy who fell from the sky, and a goddess, both terrifying and terrifyingly beautiful, saved him from certain death. The goddess had eyes the color of night pearls and a heart bigger than the entirety of the world.”

Picking up immediately after the events of Kingdom of Souls, we follow Arrah and her friends search the tribe lands for any chance of survivors from the massacre in Kingdom of Souls. Meanwhile Rudjek navigates his newfound abilities and his power hungry father.

I blaaaazed through this book. I’m talking one minute I was at 30% and then I was finished. The pace was exceptional, the story was so readable and fully loaded with action and twists. Barron certainly proves once more she’s a force to be reckoned with, with her writing.

This time we not only follow Arrah’s perspective, but Rudjek’s as well, and the odd one from Dimma.

Arrah is experiencing the aftermath of trauma from thee events in KoS. She’s guilt ridden, cracking under the pressure of trying to solve and fix everything and also dealing with her grief of lost loved ones.

Rudjek’s perspective was pleasantly surprising. It was full of political machinations, warfare strategy and his devotion to Arrah. Personally, this was my favourite part of Reaper of Souls. Not only is it uncommon for YA series to give a voice to the male love interest, but it’s also uncommon for it to be as good as the female lead. With KOS we lost sight of him because it only followed Arrah, and we would have lost sight of him again if not for the addition of his perspective. We get to enjoy his character arc and his character development. In actuality, what we get with Rudjek in this instalment, is what I wish we’d got with Arrah.

I also really enjoyed the odd Dimma chapters. It was exciting to learn about her and how that lead to current plot events. The orishas history is better than the excitement of reality TV. We learn more about Dimma and her relationship with her orisha brethren, that, they’re really bad at being gods. It’s entertaining. They just can’t do anything right - they can’t keep the children in line. They reminded me of the Fairy Oddparents, Wanda and Cosmo, with their shenanigans. However, I was a little disappointed with the lack of the demon king’s presence.

In some ways, I felt the magic system fell to the wayside in favour of world building. I was tremendously disappointed with the lack of exploring Arrah’s chieftain magic. Salt was rubbed in the wound further when Rudjek explored his abilities, whilst Arrah was left stilted with her guilt. Maybe increasing the book’s length would have been beneficial to allow for this, considering the pace was on the whole great, thereby hypothetically allowing for more length without detracting from the book’s quality or enjoyment.

Unfortunately I was super disheartened with the ending. I’m sure the author has some tricks up her sleeve going into the final book with respect to the ending, but it doesn’t change the fact I disliked it and it left me sour.

But the romance aspects of the book were really nice. Reaper of Souls is actually quite a romantic book... yet darkly romantic. We not only follow the forbidden love of Arrah and Rudjek’s relationship, but we get insight to the origins of Daho and Dimma’s love story as well. I thought Barron contrasted each relationship very well, and I’m invested to know how they’ll both end. It actually gives me The Mummy vibes (almost).

Twists! Twists! Twists! I didn’t see a good few coming. Barron certainly kept me on my toes and I felt the sequel connected to the first book very well to have excellent flow. The book lulled slightly in the middle but it builds in momentum again toward the end to be heart pounding and gripping. Ultimately Reaper of Souls raises more questions that’ll ensure fans will have their calendars marked for the grand finale. I can’t wait!

Thank you kindly to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.
Profile Image for K.S. Marsden.
Author 19 books718 followers
May 19, 2021
Stopping her mother and sister from releasing the demon king was only the start. Arrah and Rudjek have to act fast to stop a war.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Arrah returns from saving the Kingdom from her mother and sister's demon army, but no one sees her as a hero. People are scared of her, terrified of what her limitless power will do.
Arrah doesn't have time to dwell on this. She discovers that one of the other tribes may have survived the slaughter, and she sets herself a mission to track them down and help them.

Rudjek is the Crown Prince, now that his father has taken the throne. He is also part-Craven, and one of the few people that can kill demons easily. With the help of the other cravens, Rudjek plans to track down where the demon king plans to attack next, and take an army to stop him.

I think my favourite storyline in this book was Dimma (Arrah's past life) and Daho (the Demon King). Dimma is an immortal who falls in love with a mortal man. Despite being a god, Dimma has a naivety about her, and she seems so much more ignorant to the rules and expectations of existence than her brothers and sisters.
Only when she falls in love with Daho, does she being to question the rules that surround them.
It shows a much softer and more caring side to the goddess of death and the demon king. They weren't always the villains.

The not-so-good.
I really struggled to stay connected to the narrative. For a long book - nothing really happened for a good chunk of it. And I didn't feel like the characters were evolving, or we were learning anything new.
I mean, seriously, there is one big battle in Rudjek's storyline, but we don't get to witness any of it because he was unconscious. He wakes up two days later, and finds everyone injured.
Arrah just... travels; tests her new magic; fears her new magic... travels some more.

The ending picks up a bit, but I'd already lost interest, to be really invested in it.
I kinda want to see how the trilogy ends, but I'm not in any rush.
March 28, 2021
3,5 stars

Thank you to HarperTeen, Rena Barron and her assistant, and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

Reaper of Souls continues a few weeks after Kingdom of Souls. Arrah struggles to find her place back in the city. And soon she has to leave yet again to see if she can find the last of her parent's people.

I read this book a while ago but I struggled finding the words to review this book for a while. As a whole I feel that the book just isn't as strong as the first book. That book and plot was so incredibly solid. This book didn't quite feel that way. I'm not sure if it was the switch between point of views between Arrah and Rudjek precisely. But it did jolt me out of places in the story.

I will also admit that I didn't find Rudjek's storyline as interesting as Arrah's and I would have preferred to have spend a little less time with him. It just continously felt that I was getting my chain yanked around in his storyline. Where as Arrah's was much more focused. Sure, there were some headplays there and I might never trust anyone ever again, but her line was very goal orientated. Clouded by her own doubts and the doubts that the demon king placed within her.

It just feels a bit like the middle book syndrome in places. It is used to propel the story forward for that end countdown in the last book. Especially in Rudjek's story and the ending of Arrah's in this book. It didn't feel quite satisfactory or that I needed the next book immediately.

Having said that, the book is still a good continuation of the first book. It propels forward with every chapter and in places it keeps you filled with tension. It also sets up the next book well. And while I might not have wanted the book right away I do still really want to read on in this series.
Profile Image for akacya ❦.
913 reviews137 followers
February 17, 2023
2023 reads: 54/350

2023 tbr: 18/100

this is the sequel to kingdom of souls.

arrah is the last surviving witchdoctor, and she’s doing her best to make everything right and not repeat her mother’s mistakes. she returns to the tribal lands to seek help from those remaining of her parents’ people. but defeating the demon king seems to become more and more impossible.

i read book one over a year ago, and honestly it was a bit hard to recall what happened in that one to follow along in this book. while i did rate kingdom of souls higher, this definitely could have been the cause and i’d recommend reading the books closer together or rereading before you jump in.

with that said, this was still an interesting book! i loved arrah’s journey and the fact that we got chapters from rudjek’s viewpoint as well. i highly recommend this series and will be reading master of souls hopefully pretty soon after that releases.
Profile Image for Samantha.
149 reviews12 followers
September 29, 2022
This series is absolutely amazing. Book one was incredibly atmospheric, and the tension building and emotional pain continued into Reaper of Souls. I seriously don't understand how this series hasn't gotten the hype it deserves.
The worldbuilding the with the gods, the depths we go through with the characters and their histories, the twists that LITERALLY had be gasping out loud- it's all so amazing! I love where everything is going and that I can never guess the next step. There's a romance that we're really not supposed to fully support, but it was somehow still incredibly beautiful and moving. This book has put me through so many feelings!
Profile Image for S. Naomi Scott.
268 reviews27 followers
February 7, 2021
DISCLAIMER : I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review. My thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for allowing the opportunity to read and review this book.

It's at least as good as the first one, with the same mix of light and dark in the narrative. A full review will come shortly but suffice to say it's a strong four out of five stars.
Profile Image for 2TReads.
777 reviews35 followers
February 17, 2021
I enjoyed this read a lot. Barron has thrown in twists and revelations that definitely get a reaction.

"We tell ourselves what we need to hear to survive another day." -Tyrek

The threads of Barron's world are being woven tighter in #reaperofsouls as we see the ramifications of the fallout and the moves being put in place to either seize control, uncover the truth, or form a coalition to face what is coming.

Barron is committed to steadily building upon her world, further fleshing out her established narrative, introducing twists, and revealing answers that shed more light on the orisha's actions and temperaments. She has also crafted a magic system that is complex and exists in the immaterial and physical, and the ways in which it can be accessed and used is rooted in African practices and lore.

The clash of morality and magic against political maneuverings and advancement is an interesting aspect that adds another layer of intrigue to this narrative. The dialogue between the characters is punchy, slick, reflective, and questioning, making the interactions between friends, enemies, and deities entertaining and pensive.

Orishas are cunning, powerful yet not limitless and must employ aid in order to achieve favourable outcomes, especially when their actions are part-cause for the fallout.

I really enjoyed this follow-up.
Profile Image for May.
95 reviews6 followers
February 15, 2021
Once again I’m in awe of Rena Barron’s writing and talent for storytelling!!!

Let me start by saying this series is dark and exactly the type of fantasy that I love because you know what?! Nobody is pure and good in their core, everyone has some dark in them and nothing is sunshine or happy ever after!
There’s got to be casualties, that’s realistic because we wanna feel something when we read don’t we?
The story is so amazingly written and has such fantastic twists that’ll blow your mind. And the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time!!

There was so much I could also learn for myself while reading it! It’s not just fantasy. This book teaches you so many life lessons and has a beautiful message of hope.

Also the character development was so realistic and relatable. Nobody can go from self doubt to becoming a hero in seconds it needs time and growth!! That‘s why I love how character-driven the story was.

Also happy Black History Month!!
It’s no coincidence this book is being released in this month;
Though like Barron herself said she doesn’t think about making history. She thinks about the Black children and teens who wouldn’t have to grow up not seeing themselves reflected in books. How even though black people made so much progress, we’re dangerously close to a single narrative of what it means to be Black (meaning the hyper-focus in media on Black trauma without an equal balance of Black joy.)
And THAT is a beautiful message!

I was so fed up with YA and generally with fantasy lately but RoS showed me once again that it can be different and enjoyable.
So please give this story your attention and I hope you enjoy it like I did!
Profile Image for Jade Hall.
258 reviews14 followers
June 7, 2021
second book syndrome 👎👎

it got a lot more interesting at the end but i was kinda bored for ~50% of it

still excited to read the third book though
Profile Image for Seymone.
270 reviews23 followers
July 13, 2021
I cannot wait for the next installment.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,408 reviews190 followers
March 25, 2021
God what a sequel!!

Arrah is the last witchdoctor of the Kingdom. Returning to the citadel leaves her feeling hopeless. But when she finds clues that lead to the hope some of the tribes survived, Arrah is determined to find them. Meanwhile, the Demon King is out their plotting his nefarious plans. Demons, gods, witches and cravens collide in this adventure of hidden identities, half truths and deception.

This book kept moving the whole time. It felt like we were always learning something new about the history of the Demon King and the gods, or venturing into new lands. I loved seeing Rudjek learn more about his powers and how to wield them. Also Rudjek and Arrah are just too cute, I can't. There's like this wild ass love something going on, but it's some kind of weird polygon--definitely more than a triangle lmao.

If I learned anything throughout this book it's that everyone is lying: the demon king, Dimma, the other gods. All of them: LIARS. I don't trust any of them, but the ending was rough and I am very concerned for all my precious babies. AND THERES A SIDE ACE CHARACTER, HELLO I LOVE YOU.
Profile Image for Stephenie.
181 reviews57 followers
January 29, 2021
Reaper picks up weeks after Kingdom of Souls. Like the first novel, the world is atmospherically dark, wicked and foreboding. While the tone is dark, there's plenty of comedic relief to break up the tension. At this point, I'm completely invested in Arrah, Rudjek and their world. They must be protected at all costs. Don't even get me started on the romance(s). Which, I also want to point out, some readers may not like the love triangle, but there's so much more to it. Clearly, Barron like to play and taunt.

It's a matter of perspective, I suppose, as the characters all feel that their acts seem justified in the name of love and justice. Who's at fault for that? Who's the villain in this story? Maybe they all are. And I'm not upset at Arrah's decision to choose herself for once, although I think some readers will disagree with me. Where there's a will, there's a way, and Arrah's a force, and she's going to find some way or another to save her kingdom, and it's people.

Overall, my dark fantasy heart loved it! It was filled with twists, turns and revelations, I can't wait to read the conclusion.

Read this if you enjoy...
• a vast world inspired by West African folklore and mythology
• dark magic & meddling gods
• #IsThisAKissingBook a complicated star crossed romance that will leave a hole or melt your heart or both
Profile Image for Danielle .
176 reviews
February 17, 2021
Rena said, "f*ck your second book slump," let's go!

REAPER OF SOULS starts off immediately following the exciting (and violent) events of Book 1, KINGDOM OF SOULS. Arrah and her friends must deal with the consequences of her mother and sister's actions. At the same time, Arrah and Rudjek are encountering more and more obstacles to their relationship. Not to mention, an extra love interest of two. 👀

There are twists, there are turns, there are meddling gods - and a Demon King determined to have his revenge! If I'm being honest, I found the politicking in the capital a bit slow, but the rest of the plot had me hooked.

I had a moment when I literally squealed out loud, "Omg, this is a love story!!" It is dark and twisty and I'm obsessed! 😍 And that ending!

Overall I enjoyed this even more than the first. My body is ready for book 3!


Thank you to EpicReads and NetGalley for sending me an e-ARC!
Profile Image for Diana.
1,739 reviews222 followers
May 1, 2021
DNF'ed at page 291

I have been wanting to like this one, even though the first one I rated at 3 stars, but I didn't take to the characters or to the story in this one. At thr beginning I felt a bit lost because I didn't remember all that happened on book 1, and then I felt we were going in circles with arrah looking for the tribe, fighting against the demon king on her head and fearing she will lose control of her power. And then rudjek fighting against demons while re'mec tells him Arrah is gonna lose it constabtly.
And that's it. Well, some minor things keep going on, we also get glimpses inside dima's head and her past with daho, the demon king, and how he come to be.
But all in all i am afraid this book is not for me...
Profile Image for Jacob Rundle.
Author 5 books169 followers
December 27, 2020
Rena has done it again!!!! REAPER OF SOULS was EVERYTHING I desire in a sequel!!!! The characters’ development was SO REALISTIC AND SO WELL WRITTEN!!!! The story pulled me right in. I highly recommend this one to everyone!!!!!
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