Title: Kingdom Above the Cloud (Tales from Adia #1)
Author: Maggie Platt
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Allegory
Publisher: Ambassador International
No. of Pages: Paperback, 295 pgs.
Publication Date: April 17, 2020
Date Read: May 14, 2020
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What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?
Abandoned as infants, Tovi and her twin brother were raised by an eclectic tribe of warm, kind people in a treehouse village in the valley. After her brother’s sudden disappearance Tovi questions her life and her faith in an invisible King. Ignoring her best friend Silas’ advice, she decides to search for her brother in the kingdom on top of the mountain.
Above the cloud, the Council of Masters receive their orders. Tovi and her brother are the objectives. King Damien has a plan and Tovi is the key. The Council of Masters want her, but will she remain unscathed?
Amidst the glamour of the kingdom above the cloud Tovi is torn between her own dark desires and unanswered questions. It starts with a snake and a crown. When the ring is complete, will her life be over?
Thanks so much to Ambassador International for an advanced e-copy of the book to review!
“What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?”
The above questions is really what sparked my intrigue for Kingdom Above the Cloud. As someone who has grown up in the church and believes and follows Jesus I’m always a little wary when allegories or “Christian” fiction happen because 95% of the time it ends up being cliche and cheesy and actually makes Christianity look bad or falls into how much of society tends to view Christianity. And I did go into this book wary and to be honest, part of me wanted to find some fault in it and it took me forever (like 5 chapters) to get into. But y’all it wasn’t at all like I thought it would be and it definitely falls into the 5% of Christian allegories of “Christian” fiction that actually deserves to be on my shelf.
Kingdom Above the Cloud follows a multi-dimensional timeline. But, here’s the gist. The king who rules the mountain is worried about his downfall based on a painting prophecy that four heirs will rise against him and conquer him with a great army. This painted prophecy was painted by King Damien’s once mentor and friend, Adwin, who was the Creator/Master who has mysteriously disappeared. The story on the mountain is that he ran from the people, his creation, because he hated them.
At the bottom of the mountain lies the village of Adia. Adia is said to be the village where Adwin had made his home when he ran from the mountain because his people ran him off. There, we meet Tovi. Tovi, who doesn’t know who her parents are, whose twin brother has disappeared, who feels out of place in the village, her guardian ‘grandfather’ has just died, and who’s best friend Silas listens as she angrily blames Adwin for all of her troubles.
King Damien, in his worry creates a contest and those who are Masters of the traits and values he holds dear are given a task: the first to mark an Adian with their symbol gains a part of his kingdom. Tovi becomes the mark of several of these Masters.
In her grief, she accepts an offer to head to the mountain. Once there, she is soon taught what values they hold closely and the marks that they’re given once they master that value: Control (hissing snake), Adoration (pointed crown), Pleasure (thorny rose), Perfection (tipped scales), Power (sinister flames), Prosperity (sharply-cut diamond), Wisdom (coil of thick chains).
Tovi soon learns that not everything seems or is as she thought it would be. Secrets are found out, lies are told, mistakes are made. What follows is a great fantasy novel that truly is one of the most Gospel-centered stories I’ce read. And I absolutely loved it.
Platt does an excellent job at interconnecting all the pieces in the story. And also, an excellent job with the details. From what I could tell, there wasn’t a detail included that wasn’t in some way important in the moment or never held a significant moment in the story later. I also loved the world that she’s created as well as the characters. There’s just a distinct difference between Aida and Mount Damien. Not just in view and description, but also of the people that live there and what they hold to be valuable or true. It’s so distinct, yet so reminiscent of certain aspects of life today.
One thing that I absolutely loved in this book was how she managed to include Gospel within the story she’s crafted. A Master/Creator who created his people only to be run out becasue they hated him. Everyone is born with a heart on their palm, but as people age, they either keep it because they still hope in him, or they lose it because they’ve hardened their heart completely to him. The marks that Tovi received on the mountain, once she learns who Adwin truly is to her, there’s guilt and the thought that she was too far gone to ever be forgiven. But Adwin, in every encounter with Tovi, whether she knew it or not, spoke to her letting her know that she was never too far, that she would always be loved, and that he could take it all away for a fresh start. Adwin, consistently put plans in motion because only he knew what for sure would happen, but he always allowed people the freedom of choice. At one point, the Master/Creator gives his life in order to save another, which places a border between dark and light. The symbolism and allegory intertwined in this story is so well done, and I absolutely floored and in love with how this story was so creatively put toegther in a new, fresh way while still proclaiming Gospel in a way that was understandable.
I’m absolutely in love with this story and I can’t wait to get the next book in my hands to read more of this story. Platt has done something amazing with the Fantasy genre and weaving the Gospel throughout. Reminiscent of stories by Tolkein and C.S. Lewis, this is one not to be missed. Kingdom Above the Cloud released April 17th, 2020.
Maggie Platt is a writer, traveler, cancer survivor, and dreamer. Her greatest joys are being Auntie M to her amazing neices and nephew and sitting with students and friends over cups of coffee and deep conversations. She works at her alma mater, Anderson University in Indiana, and she lives in a cozy cottage nearby where students come to sit on her couch just to laugh, cry, and talk about life.
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