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All booksYoung adultThe Kingdom of Back
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Young adult

The Kingdom of Back

by Marie Lu

Quick take

Mozart’s older sister makes the deal of a lifetime to secure the same musical opportunities as her prodigal brother.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Real-life-characters

    Real-life characters

Why I love it

Juliann Nelson
Content Producer, Fortune

I was beyond excited when I heard that Marie Lu would be tackling historical fiction—based on the Mozart family, no less—in her newest book, The Kingdom of Back. As a major band geek, I loved getting to read about Mozart’s lesser-known, but equally talented, sister and the lush fantasy world she finds herself drawn into.

Everyone knows the name Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but his older sister Nannerl, a talented performer and genius composer, wants to be remembered, too. A daunting task made near impossible by an unsupportive father and a society that doesn’t recognize women composers. When a strange figure from a mythical land offers to make her wish come true, Nannerl has to learn who she can trust and what she’s willing to give up to be remembered.

As with Lu’s other novels, The Kingdom of Back has that something special that keeps me, and many others, coming back for more. Longtime fans will love seeing Lu stretch her creative muscles in a totally new setting, and new readers will enjoy an excellently crafted, utterly entrancing book on one of history’s forgotten figures.

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Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl's hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

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Get an early look from the first pages of The Kingdom of Back.

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