Wolfgang Mozart, child prodigy and world renowned musician and composer. We all know his story, or at least know of him, but what about his sister? The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu explores the story of Maria Anna Mozart (or Nannerel). She was the older sister of Wolfgang and shared his musical talents, but she was born into a world that did not approve of women being anything other than wives and caretakers. She was desperate to be remembered by the people of her world but when her younger brother began to show musical talent as well, her goals became conflicted. Nannerel and her brother Wolfgang started touring all around Europe under the guidance of their father. However, Nannerel discovered the Kingdom of Back, a place where everything is backwards, and a lost prince that could help her achieve her goal of being remembered. But at what cost?
What is really fun about this book is that it mixes in events that actually happened with a dash of fantasy. It pulls a lot of details about the travels of the Mozarts straight from history. This is paired with what originally is shown to be just a small game played by two children that becomes something much bigger. I also really enjoyed how Marie Lu looks at the role of women throughout history. She asks the question of how many talented females did the world miss out on just because women were not allowed to do certain things. Where would the world be if we could have had their contributions? It does a great job of showing why no one should be kept from sharing their talents no matter what and is a great reminder that everyone has something to contribute and should be given that chance!