Friday, April 3, 2015

Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano {review}

Burning Kingdoms
by Lauren DeStefano
♦publisher: Simon & Schuster 
♦release date: March 10, 2015
♦hardcover, 320 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Internment Chronicles, book 2
  review of book 1: Perfect Ruin
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.

The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.

It is also a land at war.

Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?

Review: Burning Kingdoms is another fascinating journey into the worlds that Lauren DeStefano so expertly creates. A little curious, deeply emotional,  and just a touch magical, this story continues only moments after Perfect Ruin ended.  Morgan, Pen, Basil, and the whole crew have safely reached the ground after risking their lives to escape from Internment on a ship shaped like bird.

When they step outside, they are immediately taken into custody by the right hand man to the king.  They are brought to his home, a large off-season hotel where he lives with his five children. Two of them are around the same age as Morgan, so I knew they would play a big part in the story.  The family dynamic reminded me a little of the Von Trapps, two older kids taking care of the little ones in place of a distant political father.  I loved Birdie---she was spunky, opinionated, and fun.

Love the worldbuilding in this. What I initially thought was our own world in the 20s turned out to be something  similar but slightly more magical, two lands run by two stubborn kings and torn apart by the a war over fuel.  When Pen and Morgan make an important discovery about the precious substance, Morgan must decide if that discovery is a bargaining chip that could get them all home, or a secret that could bring their whole floating city crashing down.

There are really a lot of emotional chips thrown down here, as they discover this new world.  We find out exactly why Princess Celeste muscled her way onto the ship, and she gets in over her head trying to play her political hand.  Pen wrestles with a few old demons and a dangerous weakness. Morgan must decide where her loyalty lies strongest and also face up to what she really wants for her and Basil, now that they are not held by Internments laws of betrothal. And they all must come to terms with their feelings about their lives on Internment and the fact that they may never be able to go home again.  All while trying to figure out this strange new place and survive it’s escalating war.

You never quite know how this is going to play out and it ends on another suspenseful and exciting cliffhanger. I’ve definitely become invested in the lives of this huge group of characters. A little bit of a slow in pacing here and there, but there is never any falter from the gorgeousness of DeStefano's writing!  A really great second installment---can’t wait to see what book three holds!
Find Lauren DeStefano online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook
Purchase Burning Kingdoms: Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


  1. Yay :D Gorgeous review Becky. <3 I'm so glad you loved this book. I must read it soon, I think :D I'm excited. Especially since I peeked at the ending, and learned one thing about the romance that I had been hoping for, hah. I'm excited, yet a tiny bit nervous :) Anyway. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this book sweetie. <3

  2. I remember reading your review for book that I've read your review for book 2, I feel like I should give this series a chance. Especially since you loved both books! It must be pretty amazing if you rated it four and a half! :D But at the same time I feel like waiting. I have so many other books to read, if I bought this series, I wouldn't know when I'd even start it. Lately I've been cutting back on buying books so hopefully I can keep that up for a bit more. Either way, I look forward to reading this one in the future! ^_^

  3. LOL, I love how you always peek at the endings, Carina! :D I love how the romance in this is so complicated! I'm not sure I had been hoping for the way it turned out, but I was very happy with it when it happened! I hope you really enjoy this one!

  4. OH gosh, I know what you mean, Hillary! I keep eyeballing books that I would love to buy but who knows when I'll get to them! Good luck on the book buying break---it's a challenge, I know! I do hope you find time to pick up this series soon, though!

  5. lol :D Peeking at endings is the best! <3 But, SPOILER. I do not know if she breaks up with her fiance. I only know of the kiss. And that kiss makes me so happy. Sigh. But.. I will be very sad if she hasn't broken it off with her fiance :\ so a bit worried about reading all of the book :) But still excited for it.

  6. The world building sounds spot on is this edition! I love it!

  7. It really was! I loved that it was a perfect mix of 1920s "our world" and this imaginative world with kings and mermaids and other little touches of fantasy!

  8. I haven't read Perfect Ruin yet but I read Wither by Lauren DeStefano and love it! Her writing truly is gorgeous. I think the slow pacing might be common in her books sometimes, but I don't really mind as long as the story catches my attention.