Tuesday 12 February 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: December 11th 2012
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword.


Since Graceling and Fire I have been hoping to find more amazing YA fantasy. Every time another is released my hopes go up, but nothing can quite live up to it. Although this one is the one that came the closest for me so far.

The scope of this is large. The story takes place over 3 kingdoms, with several character POVs. I can think of a total of six, although some are more prominent. Namely Cleo, Jonas, and Magnus, each from a different kingdom. There are very poor relations between the three kingdoms and war is brewing. This reminds me a bit of a YA take on A Game of Thrones; featuring several kingdoms, several characters spread out over the kingdoms, war, and death. There are a lot of character deaths, so dont get too attached to anyone. Unfortunately I did and I cried 3 or 4 times. There are also a lot of dark and evil characters.

My favourite character is by far Magnus. He is such a conflicted character, trapped by his circumstances. I feel so much pity for him. The kind of character you just want to hug. One of the things that I didnt like about this book was the fact that all the characters hate each other. There is so much bias and prejudice between the different kingdoms, and although I see inside their lives and their minds and can grow to appreciate them, they hate each other fervently. Jonas' glowing hatred for Cleo made me hate him for most of the book. He seemed so blind to it that I just could not like him. Although his eyes started to open near the end. And I also really enjoyed Cleo's character, so when she and Magnus met, it was especially painful to see them through each other's eyes. I dont want them to hate each other, Magnus especially does not deserve such hatred. Or maybe I am the biased one now, but I just love Magnus so much. And although I loved Cleo, she could be annoying at times, a bit entitled. I also enjoyed the characters Lucia and Theon, who had some POV chapters, but not as many.

This isnt a romance. There are a few romantic connections, but none are the focus, and there is still no indication of who will end up with who in the end. I havent a clue. Magnus and Lucia? Alexius and Lucia? Magnus and Cleo? Cleo and Jonas? Or no one? I see the possibility of any of the listed combinations although it could be none. But I am leaning towards believing there will be a romance in the end, since there was enough mention of love in this book to think the author wont let it drop yet. Plus all the characters are about the same age, between 16 and 18.

I cant wait for the sequel, Rebel Spring, although I didn't enjoy the hatred in this book, or the death. The characters we care about most need to meet and start working together instead of against each other.

“Hate is such a strong emotion. Much more powerful than indifference. But those who burn with hate can also love just as intensely. Can't they? When you hate--or love--do you do so with all your heart? So much that it feels as if you might die from it?”

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