Maggie Platt’s debut novel Kingdom Above the Cloud (ISBN: 978-1-62020-588-4) is a beautifully constructed story that reminds readers that they are worthy of God’s love. I finished this book in three days, and would have finished it even sooner if life had allowed it. Maggie Platt just might be my new favorite author, and I wait with much anticipation for Book Two of Tales From Adia.
Kingdom Above the Cloud opens with King Damien, an evil king obsessed with painted prophecies and destroying Adwin and those that possess his symbol. Adwin, the creator of the world, was run off the mountain, the kingdom above the cloud, by Damien and his followers. Adwin, and those that followed him, established the treehouse village of Adia. Adians love and follow Adwin, and they come to know him in the forest when they seek him. That is most Adians come to know him – Tovi Tivka has never met Adwin, and she only wants to find him to tell him how much she hates him. How can she have faith in an invisible king who allowed so much pain and suffering in her life?
Tovi and her twin brother Tali grew up with guardians in Adia rather than their birth parents. They aren’t even originally from Adia. They don’t know of their true origin. And now, Tali has disappeared and has been gone for 6 months. Tovi has much anger and resentment that she directs towards Adwin. Her best friend Silas offers her a listening ear, but as she lets darkness consume her, she pushes him further and further away.
Meanwhile, on the mountain, King Damien summons his Council of Masters and gives each member a task of marking an Adian and bringing them above the cloud. Tovi becomes the prey of several Masters. What will become of Tovi? What will she decide? Who will she become?
Platt had me on the edge of my seat with each page. You quickly fall in love with Adia and the members of HH [read to find out what that stands for ;)], and you quickly develop disdain for King Damien and several of the Masters. I will say that, for me, Tovi’s hard exterior made it difficult to like her at first, though her questions and struggles with faith are relatable. However, you can’t help but cheer for Tovi and hope with each turn of the page that she will realize the truth and seek redemption. I hope to see more development with this character as the series continues.
My favorite part of this book was the Christian allegory woven seamlessly into the plot. Adwin (who also has a new name) reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia. Yet, this was not a rehashing of Lewis’s work. It is new and refreshing, but it still holds a meaningful message. The message that we are worthy of God’s love, that we are worthy of God’s forgiveness, and that we can be born again through God’s grace is so eloquently delivered that I found myself with tears on my face as I read.
I HIGHLY recommend Kingdom Above the Cloud to readers of Young Adult fiction. Also, readers of Christian fiction, who enjoy fantasy spins, will greatly enjoy this book. I personally give it 5/5 stars, and, like I said before, I cannot wait for the next book in the series! Add The Kingdom Above the Clouds to your TBR – you will not be disappointed!