The Fifth Kingdom

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
365 Pages
Reviewed on 12/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lisa M. James is an independent author, product marketing manager, and former Sunday School teacher. She is also a regular guest blogger for various IT digital publications. Her fictional writing is inspired by Historical Fiction, Fantasy genres, and Christian novels. When not writing, Lisa loves talking about her faith, Disney movies, and football while drinking chai lattes. To keep up with her latest releases, subscribe to

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Fifth Kingdom is a collected box set of novellas in the fantasy, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Lisa M. James. Written for the young adult reading audience, the works are highly suitable for all types of readers and take them through four novellas towards the fascinating titular legend. We meet protagonists Lucinda, a princess, and Matthew, a prince of a different kingdom, as the pair begins a fascinating exploration of another land, lost to legend, and once ruled by an ancient Queen with a dark history. When old spirits rise with destruction on their minds, so begins an incredible quest to come together and save their homelands.

Author Lisa M. James has crafted a fantastic series of stories that are hard to put down once you’ve dived headfirst into their magic and mystery. There’s an excellent balance of modern versus pseudo-historical in the fantasy setting, delivering relatable characters with true vulnerability against a world where darkness looms to consume everything and everyone in it. The four novellas each tell a particular segment of the adventure in a nicely rounded-off way, delivering an episodic story that grows with tension, atmosphere, and action in every new installment. Even at its conclusion, the cinematic descriptions, dynamic dialogue, and emotional storyline of the central pair will certainly have YA audiences and fans coming back and demanding more from this highly engaging series. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Fifth Kingdom to fantasy fans seeking a total package for thrills, emotion, and action galore.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Fifth Kingdom by Lisa M. James is a great YA fantasy. For hundreds of years, there has been peace between the Four Kingdoms of the Green Sea but that is now under threat because of a prophecy about Princess Lucinda of the East Kingdom. When she joins Prince Matthew of the West Kingdom for the summer, they learn that their lives are entwined, that a legend of a Fifth Kingdom connects them. Events lead to Lucinda and Matthew battling old spirits fueled by the ancient Queen who is determined to destroy the other Four Kingdoms. Can they survive the battle and save the Kingdoms? Or are they destined to destroy harmony forever?

The Fifth Kingdom by Lisa M. James is a compilation of the four novellas that make up the series. This was a reasonably quick read because each chapter is kept short but goes into remarkable detail about the characters and the plot. The main protagonists were incredibly well developed and are tasked with dealing with real issues, such as learning from their mistakes, learning responsibility and self-acceptance. The story is smooth, each chapter leading on from the previous one and there is plenty of action all the way through. It did slow down a bit in some places but soon picked up speed again. This is a great way to enjoy the entire story of the male and female leads, without having to wait for the next book in the series. It’s all there and you can easily follow each story as it leads into the next. If you’ve never read anything by this author before, this is a good place to start.

Grace Masso

The Fifth Kingdom Series by Lisa M. James comprises four books in the series: The Whispers of Shadows, Castle of Ashes, A Realm Forgotten, and The One True Queen. Each of the books is a breezy read and the entire collection follows a fantasy tale in a magical world facing a powerful threat. The setting is the imaginary world of the Green Sea, where The Four Kingdoms have lived peacefully for ages. But the peace and harmony between the kingdoms are about to be shattered, thanks to a prophecy that is unfolding. An old prophecy has predicted that a Queen will rise in the East and that her strength will be sought in the West. Her Kingdom shall be restored in the Sea.

When Princess Lucinda spends the summer with Prince Matthew of the West Kingdom, the two become connected in far deeper ways, a flame of love burning in their hearts. At the same time, an ancient threat begins to manifest. An ancient Queen who met a bitter end is returning and she is determined to have her vengeance. Can Lucinda and Matthew succeed in the battle against old magical powers or will the legend of the Fifth Kingdom destroy the entire realm?

The Fifth Kingdom Series is a light read. It is fast-paced and packed with action. It has a strong appeal to fans of fantasy and romance. The prose is crisp and the language accessible to ordinary readers; the writing is filled with captivating and vivid descriptions. The setting is very imaginative, a world that I easily imagined. There is a strong sense of mystery written into the story, and from the moment that I read about the prophecy, I became very curious about how it would unfold in the plot. Lisa M. James has created characters that won my sympathy and that I wanted to follow. The conflict is strong and is anchored in the fact that an ancient power is coming after the heroes of these kingdoms for revenge. It is a great story that I read through the night.

Pikasho Deka

Princess Lucinda of the East Kingdom dutifully obey's her mother's dying wish and spends her summer in the West Kingdom ruled by the magnanimous King John. After getting acquainted with the king's sons, Lucinda strikes up a burgeoning friendship with the younger son, Prince Matthew. Under the tutelage of two watchful governesses, Lucinda gradually learns to control her dormant powers. Plagued by visions, she discovers that she may be the destined Queen to revive the fallen Fifth Kingdom of the Green Sea. But not everyone is on board as secrets of the past arise to overwhelm her, and forces outside her control threaten to jeopardize her quest. Comprising books 1-4, The Fifth Kingdom is an enthralling fantasy series by author Lisa M. James.

The Fifth Kingdom is a highly imaginative fantasy series with a powerful love story at its core that should appeal to adults and teenagers alike. Author Lisa M. James has spun a deep emotional yarn that is bound to pluck at your heartstrings. Although I enjoyed the scenes between Lucinda and Matthew, my favorite portion of The Fifth Kingdom was the reveal of the mysterious relationship between Commander Jonathan and Lucinda's mother, Lucille. The characters are well-developed, and each of them feels distinct in their own way. All four books are tightly plotted and move at a brisk pace. I was hooked from the first page till the end. I think fans of young adult novels and epic fantasy should give The Fifth Kingdom a go.

Foluso Falaye

"A Queen will Rise in the East. Her Strength sought in the West. Her Kingdom restored in the Sea." Lucinda's mother was told this prophecy while she was pregnant with her, but does Lucinda believe it? Lucinda knew she was different from childhood as she is gifted with magical abilities that can wreak great havoc as much as they can heal. To fulfill her mother's dying wish, Lucinda's father sends Lucinda to the West to learn to control her gift. Here, she hears more about the prophecy shared with her mother but regards it as false claims. But as she will soon learn through her dreams and interactions with the charming prince, Matthew, rumors are sometimes true or close to it. Lisa M. James' The Fifth Kingdom is a fast-paced, plot-driven narrative that would appeal to fantasy enthusiasts.

The Fifth Kingdom exposes a world of magic, witchcraft, kingdoms, political marriages, vengeance, and reincarnation. It is divided into four sections, which focus on different aspects of the story and explore the past, the present, and the different perspectives of the protagonists and the main antagonist. The plot is quite large and includes many characters and twists; I didn't have a clue about how the story would turn out because it has many surprising twists. I was mightily impressed with how Lisa M. James brings together the different elements in the story to create such a coherent and logical narrative. I loved that I gave the book a try and would recommend that other fantasy fans do the same.