Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.
'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'
When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.
It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.
But sometimes the rules are different.
It is actually hard to put into words how caught up in the story I became but here goes...
The descriptions are vivid and Gin Phillips sets the scene brilliantly, the first few chapters are great at introducing Joan and Lincoln. I really felt as if I got to know Lincoln and Joan as she describes her everyday life with Lincoln. There is also her feelings on how her son has changed and how he will continue to do so as he grows up. As a mother it felt so real and honest as to what our hopes and fears are for our children. The impact of the beginning of the story is in a word shocking and even if you aren’t a parent the fear is real and I guess is always at the back of our minds.
Gin Phillips has a brilliant way of telling a story and keeping the momentum flowing with gripping, tense scenes and actions. I truly felt as if the story was playing out before my very eyes experiencing every tense and frightening moment. The subject of the book is intense but even more so because these events take place and anyone of us could be caught up in this type of situation. Fierce Kingdom will likely stay with me for a while and I am pretty thankful that I hadn’t gone to the trouble of a manicure because if I did have long nails they wouldn’t have been that way for long. Even though this story has tension galore it is also about a mother who has the sole purpose of protecting her child and I am sure that this will resonate with most people. I think what made it even scarier for me is the fact that I have a four year old and I could see why Joan made some of the decisions that she did just based on having a child of that age myself.
Completely out of my comfort zone, I just couldn’t sit still for longer than two minutes as the tense moments played out. The addition of a child into the story is what nightmares are made of. I had no clue in which direction the story was going to go and to be honest I didn’t really over think things as I was completely wrapped up in the moment. With a story that is so fast moving it feels as if you are on a high speed rollercoaster with constant loops and drops. I can only suggest that Fierce Kingdom is read in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down.
I highly recommend Fierce Kingdom it is emotional, shocking and completely gripping!
Five stars from me!
With thanks to Alison Barrow & Transworld Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.