Oh my goodness, you guys, this book. This book! I originally checked out The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal from the library because it has a gorgeous color and the pages of this book are beautiful. They’re dyed red and so pretty. Then in my brilliance of “ebook only” phase purchased it for $10 or so. Then it sat around for a few weeks while review opportunities took precedence. One day Ruby asked if it was gothic so I went to GoodReads to see if it was or not and I was unfortunate enough to see in a review that Cokal self-proclaims her book to be “a fairy tale about syphilis”. I can’t even tell you how my stomach plummeted. Because really is syphilis something deserving of a fairy tale?
And then I started reading The Kingdom of Little Wounds and I was so pissed that I had wasted $10 on this book. The first 25% of the book is horrific. I wouldn’t be comfortable handing this book off to a friend’s daughter who is a senior in high school. There is sex, rape, slavery, jeweled penises, strong subject matter and language. As a 29 year old woman it was still hard to read but damn it! I spent $10 and I was sort of disgustingly interested in where the story would go.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I stuck with this book! If I had to classify this book I’d call it adult historical fiction. My biggest issue with The Kingdom of Little Wounds was going into it expecting young adult and getting a whole bunch of adult thrown in my face. Once I reconciled that fact I was able to really enjoy the story. There is palace intrigue, servant rivalry, insanity, court politics, life and death, and almost anything you can imagine in between.
I would recommend this book for adult readers who enjoy historical fiction but can stomach the atrocities that occurred in history.