The To-Read Pile

There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…

Big Review: The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson

The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson


Big Review: The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson

I should probably tell you in advance that I’m a little biased about this book. I (slightly) helped it come into existence by putting some money into Kickstarter for it and it has my name on one of the thanks pages at the back. Any book with my name in it is one that I want to succeed.

The Girl who would be King is about two teenage girls with superpowers. The girls are opposites and their powers encourage them to be this way. Bonnie’s power urges her to protect other people while Lola’s is more oriented towards destruction. Both girls are on their own in the world and when they do meet, sparks fly.

What I liked:

Both characters were great. I liked Lola just as much as I liked Bonnie, even though she was the “bad” character (and a little crazy too!). They were both very sympathetically written and, as they were both viewpoint characters, it was possible to understand both of their motivations and reasoning. I’ve read versions of the superhero story written only from the perspective of the hero and I liked this better.

I found the story really gripping, and wanted to know what would happen next. The author really hit her stride in the third section and I couldn’t put the book down once I got there. Things didn’t always turn out the way that I expected them to either, which was refreshing.

This is obviously a personal like, but I got loads of great extra swag with my copy of the book. In fact, here’s a picture I took when I opened it up:

The Girl Who Would Be King SwagMy copy of the book is also a really lovely hardback edition, with colour illustration plates in the centre. The quality is really high, given that it is (technically, I guess) self-published.

What I didn’t like:

I won’t lie, the writing is a little wobbly in places. It’s good for an early novel but it’s still obviously just that. There are some awkward places and some of the characters aren’t quite fleshed out enough.

It also ends in a way that makes you want to reach for the sequel (which unfortunately isn’t available yet!).


I’d really recommend this to you. I know I’ve said that the writing has some not-so-great places but overall, I think there’s a lot more good than bad. The characters and plot make it worthwhile and I’ve read a snippet of the next book, which was amazing.

Writers improve by writing more. This series has the potential to be something incredible. This book is definitely better than, for instance, The Colour of Magic. I’m sorry, Discworld Fans, but let’s be honest here: Pratchett’s early books were not as good as his writing later became. I’d really like to see what Kelly Thompson’s later books will be like.


I don’t normally include links to buy books that I have reviewed, but I really want this one to do well so I’m making an exception:

You can buy the limited edition hardback at The Girl Who Would Be King official website

You can buy the paperback at

You can download the Kindle edition (at a very reasonable price) from or

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2013 by in Reviews and tagged , , , .
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