Book Review: PRINCESS OF SOULS by Alexandra Christo

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for PRINCESS OF SOULS: title in gold on green smoke with gold snake and crown

For sixteen years, Selestra has been trapped in her tower on the Floating Mountain, preparing to take her mother’s place as the King’s Witch, who foretells deaths in the Festival of Predictions. Outrunning your fate earns a wish and the chance to steal the King’s immortality. But die and your soul is forfeit. And though thousands have tried, nobody has ever beaten death.

A soldier in the King’s army, Nox is an unlikely candidate for the Festival, but, driven by revenge, he is determined to steal the King’s immortality and kill the entirety of his court, starting with Selestra.

Yet when Selestra touches Nox in her very first prediction, their fates become entwined, and death seeks to take both their souls. Only by working together can they survive long enough to escape the dark fate and the immortal King that now hunts them.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


PRINCESS OF SOULS is a fun, loose “dark Rapunzel” retelling about two characters trying to take down an immortal tyrant and learning to trust one another at the same time.

I enjoyed the adventure aspect of this book, as they break out of a castle and take a hot air balloon (both of which involve a lot of falling from things – I laughed when the characters call this out in-book!) to a distant shore to find a weapon that will help them defeat the king. Along the way, Selestra learns about her magic that has been kept from her to stop her from being a threat.

Selestra starts off the book hating the king and wishing for a way out. This book does not contain a “main character learns that the ruler is evil, having thought they were good, and so their goals change from protecting the ruler to ending the ruler.” That’s a really common plot at the moment so this felt a little different. It is more about finding opportunity to fulfil goals than gaining new ones and it’s complimented by Nox having a goal but not really a plan until he teams up with her and they find one together.

Neither trusts easily (beyond their closest friend) so the pair learning to trust one enough to recognise their attraction makes for a lot of opportunity to deconstruct why they don’t trust and why this one person might be able to break down their barriers. The fact that the best friends are along for the ride lets the book balance the romantic subplot with platonic ones (and also allow for group cast dynamics, which I love.)

While this book is technically set in the world of TO KILL A KINGDOM, you don’t have to read that book to follow this one. There were no character, plot, or place overlaps that I noticed, so you can dive into the general world of loose retellings with either book and not feel like you’re missing out.

Read my reviews of other books by Alexandra Christo:

Into the Crooked Place:


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