Today’s review is all about Mitchell Charles’ The Kingdom of Oceana.
Billed as a young adult fantasy novel, The Kingdom of Oceana popped up on my radar for two reasons. One, just take a look at the cover! And two, the fact that the book is set in Hawaii.
Did I enjoy The Kingdom of Oceana? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.
For those looking for a book driven by its characters, then the Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles is for you. Ailani is a wonderfully diverse protagonist, who, as a character should, grows with the themes of the book. In the beginning, he is a little reserved given his understanding that he will always be the second son, but by the end of the novel he comes into his own, both as a son and a ruler.
The setting of the Kingdom of Oceana has only further instilled in me the wanderlust of visiting Hawaii. Naturally, I have wanted to visit Hawaii due to its ties with World War II, however, I feel that if I took the adventure now I would appreciate the culture and perhaps seek out a pearl for myself!
While reading The Kingdom of Oceana I could really tell that one of the messages Charles was trying to get across was the conservation of the oceans. After I finished the book I did a little research and found that Charles’ passion does, in fact, lie with ocean conservation, as he has been apart of the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.
I must say, I was very pleased with having listened to this book instead of physically reading it. The Hawaiian words through out would have definitely confused me during the reading process. As an added bonus the narrator, Rayton Lamay, had a way of flipping through the various characters while making each unique and yet vital to the overall story.
This book is listed on Goodreads as being targeted to a Young Adult audience. However, with the themes explored and the language used, I believe it would be better targeted towards more middle-grade readers.
Finally, with how open ended The Kingdom of Oceana was, I am eagerly anticipating its sequel, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls, set to be published in late 2017.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.