I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to read and review The Kingdom of Oceana as well as interview the author, Mitchell Charles. Thank you so much to the author and publicist Kelsey Butts!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy!💜
Title: The Kingdom of Oceana
Author: Mitchell Charles
Genre & Age Group: Fantasy, mythology, young adult
SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.
Source: Thanks so much to publicist Kelsey Butts and Mitchell Charles for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
How I Found Out About It: Email request
I am not the biggest fantasy and mythology fan, but I just couldn’t resist taking a chance at this book when I received the publicist’s request- seriously, it takes place in Hawaii, someplace I’ve always wanted to go!
I did enjoy this book, and I was especially pleased to after reading so many other mediocre fantasies. Enjoying The Kingdom of Oceana has probably opened up a whole new door to other books of this type, and for that I am so happy!
For a brief synopsis, this story revolves around a prince named Ailani. On his Hawaiian island, he and his brother find a mysterious ancient tiki mask as well as a wicked curse that could cause a threat to their land. So, he decides that it’s time to take action. Thus, Prince Ailani gathers together many sidekicks, friends, and a potential love interest in order to overcome the curse and hopefully reign himself as the next king.
I liked Prince Ailani’s character a lot, as he was strong, brave, and never afraid to take risks. I also love the fact that he formed an alliance of so many diverse creatures to fight the curse, as well as how everyone came together and bonded. Even though he went through some sibling rivalry with his brother, he still seemed to me like he was a great one, as he was always, always there for him.
Like most fantasies I read, the plot took some time to speed up, but once it did, I was mesmerized. There was a lot of action in this book, definitely more than what I’m used to and enjoy, but it went quite well with the beautiful setting, and I definitely warmed up to it!
Lastly, I adored the descriptive writing style- it hooked me from the start and never let go. I was able to visualize the gorgeous state of Hawaii so well, and the writing made me all the more eager to take a nice, relaxing vacation there!
All in all, I wasn’t disappointed by The Kingdom of Oceana, and I think this book has made me much more confident and eager to try some more mythologic fantasies. I’d recommend this story to those interested in reading something full of fantasy and magic with a strong protagonist in lovely Hawaii, because I believe that many more people should be reading this one.
About the Author:
Here is some background information about him, which was directly taken from his page on Goodreads:
Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked. He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.
Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.
These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.
Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/
KK: How many times have you travelled to Hawaii, and what areas or attractions would you recommend for those wishing to go?
MC: I’ve probably made about 50 trips to Hawaii. On the Big Island, Kilauea National Park is a must-see because it’s an active volcano. For SCUBA divers, I recommend night diving off the Kona coast where you can swim with giant manta rays. On Maui, Hana is very beautiful and lush. It’s reminiscent of old Hawaii. I also recommend a trip to the top of Haleakala Crater. Everywhere on Kauai is so beautiful!
KK: Which character in The Kingdom of Oceana do you think is the most like you?
MC: I get asked this question a lot. I’d say as I teenager I was most like Prince Ailani. As an adult, I think I’m more like King Haga.
KK: What other authors and books have inspired you in your writing of The Kingdom of Oceana?
MC: The Alchemist was very inspirational for writing Prince Ailani’s personal journey.
KK: Were there any struggles you faced while writing your novel?
MC: I was fortunate not to experience writer’s block, but I did struggle early in the process making Ailani heroic. His character was rather whiny in the first draft.
KK: If you had to recommend one young adult book for teenagers to read, which would it be and why?
MC: That’s a really tough question. I think everyone needs to find that one book that resonates with them personally.
KK: What is your biggest piece of advice for those wishing to become writers in the future?
MC: Write every day. Pick a specific time and make yourself sit down and write. There’s no shortcut. I write early in the morning, often starting before sunrise.
KK: I hear you’ve been writing a sequel! What should readers expect?
MC: The sequel picks up the story about 25 years later when Ailani is king with three children of his own. Nahoa comes back and seeks his revenge.
Thanks so much, Mitchell, for answering my questions! I had a lot of fun reading and reviewing The Kingdom of Oceana! As well, here’s another thank you to Kelsey Butts for making this possible!😄
So tell me, have you read this book, or are you planning to now that you know a bit more about it as well as the author? Do you agree with anything Mitchell said? Let me know in the comments below.
*I received a digital ARC of this book from publicist Kelsey Butts and author Mitchell Charles in exchange for an honest review.*