A very happy publication day to Gin Phillips, Fierce Kingdom publishes today and it is a summer 2017 must read!
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.
Fierce Kingdom is probably one of the most emotionally intense books any parent can read – your heart starts pounding when the danger becomes clear and it does not stop until the very end!
This novel starts at 4.55pm and ends at 8.05pm, narrated in “real time”, Phillips places you at the centre of the story as events unravel. Joan is in survival mode and you are right there alongside her, hoping she and Lincoln can stay safe. But you are also playing out another storyline in your mind, it’s the storyline where it’s you and your child in danger and you are telling yourself, you’d do everything possible to keep your child safe. That’s the intensity of this story, it’s so visual and detailed, you truly feel like you could be Joan, and in today’s world, that’s not too hard to imagine and that is what makes this book psychologically thrilling.
“I will never let you be hurt, and I am stronger and faster and smarter than anything that could ever be out there.”
Those are the words every mother wants to comfort her child with, but as parents, we know there are very real risks out there, risks we may not be able to stop but we’ll sure as hell go down fighting – that’s what Fierce Kingdom is, a mother who refuses to give up. Phillips picked a great setting for this book, the zoo, because Joan has that primal instinct to protect her young.
When Phillips offers a look inside the mind of the gunman tracking Joan, it’s so chilling because I remember when I was reading my degree in Criminology and I researched the Columbine High School massacre. As soon as I made that connection, my senses heightened and I began to worry even more for Joan and Lincoln.
If done correctly, Fierce Kingdom, would make an amazing film. Comparisons are being made between this novel and Room [by Emma Donoghue] and I can see why, I personally think this book is levels above Room. Fierce Kingdom is breath-taking, it’s primal, it’s heart-poundingly good and should be on everyone’s summer reading list.