Goddess Crown

Goddess Crown

By Author / Illustrator

Shade Lapite



Age range(s)



Walker Books Ltd




Paperback / softback




A fast-paced, romantic and feminist YA fantasy full of danger and courtly intrigue.  The royal court of Galla is as dangerous as it is glamorous... Kalothia will need every ounce of courage and wit, if she is to avenge those she loves... and stay alive.  

Kalothia has grown up in the shadows of her kingdom, hidden away in the East after her parents were outed as enemies of the king. When assassins attack her home on her 16th birthday, she must flee to the king's court - a beautiful but lethal nest of poison, plots and danger, overseen by an entrenched patriarchy. Can Kalothia navigate this most worldly of places to find her own role? What if she must choose between her country and her heart?

For fans of Twin Crowns and TikTok sensations To Kill a Kingdom and This Woven Kingdom.  "Opulence, beauty, and danger... A magnificent and triumphant debut." Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author. 

Find out more in ReadingZone's Q&A with author Shade Lapite



Phoebe - Age 14

The book Goddess Crown is honestly one of the best books that I have read for a long time. The book is set in a fantasy world, in a kingdom call Galla. The palace is in the south, where the royals and lords live. They and all of the people in and around Galla believe in a Goddess. They worship her and follow her rules. Their law says that no woman can rule Galla and all women should have a husband.

Kalothia is a girl, who had grown up hiding in a forest with her guardians; Aunty, her teacher, and two protectors, Nahir and Clarit. On her 16th birthday she leaves the safety of the forest to look for her parents. She is unaware of the world she was about to discover.

This is a fictional book, set in a fantasy kingdom, however, the writer manages to make it seem as if the kingdom really exists. All of the beautifully detailed sentences create a perfect image in the reader's imagination. There is so much information to take in but, somehow it all seems to fit together perfectly, with no confusion about what is going on.

There are so many unique plot twists that I didn't expect. I would certainly not be able to describe them as wonderfully as Shade has written them. Each twist surprised me more than the last. My favourite part of the book is the slower start and the way that it gradually becomes quicker-paced towards the end. It kept me reading as the secrets are spilled, one after another.

I would recommend this book to anybody. This book has so much detail in it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

304 pages

Suggested Reading Age 14+


This YA fantasy debut novel by Shade Lapite has it all; it is a beautiful love story, it has murder, intrigue, plot twists and despicable villains.

Set in the imaged country of Galla, we are introduced to our heroine and the main protagonist of the story, Kalothia. She has been raised in the East of the country in a remote forest area by her guardians. She has been told that her parents left her in their care as they had to flee for their lives from the royal court after the queen was brutally murdered. However, this was 16 years ago, and she has not seen or heard of them since. Her guardians have taken good care of her and they have taught her well. She is literate, smart, and she has been trained to defend and protect herself.

However, one fateful night her world is turned upside down as assassins attack her home and she must flee for her life. The only person who she can trust to help her is her dashing bodyguard Nahir. They must return to Galla's royal court to begin to find her parents and she must discover her own true identity. However, what awaits her is a male-dominated court where no one can be trusted.

In Goddess Crown, Kalothia is the perfect hero of her own story. She is strong, yet vulnerable, she is smart but has led a sheltered life away from the poisonous royal court. Lapite beautifully crafts the narrative as the reader is swept along into Kalothia's world.  

There are so many elements to this story that will have readers enthralled, enchanted and on the edge of their seats. I loved how Shade Lapite paints this imagined, beautiful country that is also filled with conspiracies, infighting and power struggles. We even have a beautiful romance entwined within the story, too.

There are also some fantastic plot twists in the book with some heinous villains which will not leave the reader disappointed. I loved that we are treated to a fulfilling resolution in the book. However, Lapite has set up this new fantasy world with a strong, female heroine at it's heart, and I hope we'll see more of her!

304 pages / Ages 13+ / Reviewed by Julie Broadbent, school librarian 

Suggested Reading Age 14+


Kalothia has been raised in hiding. Her guardians a loyal aunt and tutor, and a series of bodyguards who watch her every step. But she plans an audacious escape. Aware of her origins as a minor royal and desperate for news of the mother and father so knows so little about, she plans to seek answers about her mysteriously shrouded past. But a surprise attack by rebel fighters sees her carefully controlled existence shattered and in a patriarchal kingdom, where females must not travel alone and women are left uneducated, literate and determined Kalothia stands glaringly out. Soon one of the Lords of the Royal Court reveals her to be the rightful heir to the recently deceased King, but there are others with a claim to the throne and a dangerous game of power play puts Kalothia and those closest to her at risk.

Short chapters with little break in the action keep this story an exhilarating page-turner. Courageous Kalothia is the latest in a long line of brave, determined females seeking life beyond traditional feminine roles and, with her close, small band of loyal friends to provide her with support and a little divine intervention, she proves herself a worthy leader.

A fast-paced feminist story, set in an opulent but treacherous kingdom, with a powerful heroine at its heart.

304 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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