I first came across the Fierce Kingdom book through Book of the Month Club. With BOTM, readers log in at the beginning of each month and choose a hot book from a list of books recommended by BOTM judges.
Initially, when I read the description for Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips, I passed right over it. The book sounded fascinating, but also extremely intense—too intense for my mothering sensibilities. I decided to pass.
And still, as I read the synopses of the other books, I kept coming back to the Fierce Kingdom book. I wanted to read it, but I also didn’t want to read it. I was afraid.
Fierce Kingdom: A NovelFierce Kingdom follows Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, through their local zoo as they attempt to hide from crazed gunmen.
Now you know why I was afraid.
As a mother to a four-year-old of my own, I couldn’t imagine, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to. The very premise of the book struck fear in my heart, triggered terror from deep down in the pit of my stomach.
And yet, morbidly, I wanted to read it. I wanted to find out what another—albeit fictional—mother would do in the terrifying situation. Before I even started, I wanted to see Joan and Lincoln survive. I wanted to root against the bad guys, cheer for the mothers, and watch as the perfect outcome unfolded.
Fierce Kingdom Book: Ending Intense and Emotional
Apparently, Gin Phillips and I had different ideas about what the perfect outcome would be, but that’s OK. I still found a ton of ways to connect with the Fierce Kingdom book. Something about the book spoke to my fear at the most basic level. I saw in Joan something that I could recognize in myself, even if, at times, I didn’t agree with her decisions. Sometimes, frankly, I didn’t even like Joan, but I could still understand her. I didn’t like her decisions, but I knew why she made them. I understood her primal need to protect her own child above everybody and everything else.
Before I even picked up Fierce Kingdom, I was uncertain. I repeatedly asked myself whether I should read this book. Perhaps you’re asking yourself the same question. Now that I’m finished, I can say that yes, if you think you can handle the premise, then you should absolutely read the Fierce Kingdom book.
Maybe you’ll even read it in one sitting, like I did.
*I chose not to include the book trailer on this post because I felt some strong emotions rise while watching it. If you’d like to check it out, you can find the Fierce Kingdom book trailer here.
Other books by Gin Phillips: