Monday 16 February 2015

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

The Kraeshians join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

The rebels forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

The Watchers follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

This was as great as I expected. Falling Kingdoms was a bit slower, but Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness are equally great. I just love the scale of the story, and that it features so many great characters.

My favourite character is still Magnus, has been from the beginning. In the first book I felt a lot of pity for him and his situation, the way he was treated by his father. Although I still sometimes feel bad for him, that is no longer my primary reason for loving him. I love his strength. The way he has stood through everything. His father's deception, his sister's rejection, his mother's lies, his wife's hatred—and he has not broken yet. He has a clear goal in mind that he is constantly moving towards. He is determined. He has never faltered in his plans. Never doubted the necessity of it. He needs to take down his father, and he believes he is the best person to rule. That may not be entirely true, but he is not perfect. As Cleo said, "Who was cruel and kind, strong and weak. Who was selfish and selfless all at once.” But if anyone can sway him from his path, it is Cleo. And if anyone can make him worthy of success, it is Cleo. They could both get what they want and rule together.

Even during Falling Kingdoms, I had secret hopes for Cleo and Magnus. But after Theon, and then Jonas, I wasn't really sure there was any hope there, so I didn't get my hopes up. But I always thought they would make a great couple, if only they could see past their differences. Then after reading book 2 I knew, this is my OTP! There's no doubt anymore. This has got to happen! Although, I was expecting Cleo to acknowledge that before Magnus. I was surprised but very proud of him. Although I suppose he has less to forgive than Cleo. I am sort of glad that this series is so long, and things can happen so subtly.

I hated Jonas in Falling Kingdoms. He was so blinded by his hatred for Auranos and Cleo. It was extremely frustrating. I hated the way he saw the world in black and white. He got better in Rebel Spring as he became a rebel leader, started to realize where he was wrong, and tried to do the right thing. But in this book he was useless. I don't think I hate him anymore, but I am just not very impressed. He fails as a rebel, leader or otherwise. And he severely mistreated Felix. I really saw that coming. He jumped to conclusions about what kind of person he was, the same way he did with Cleo way back in the beginning, and I thought he had learned better. I really can't bring myself to care about whether or not has a romance with Lysandra, Cleo, or anyone else. He is the only disappointing character in this series.

Lucia is a fascinating character. I can't decide if she is good or evil. She is the only one like that in this series. Magnus is most definitely good in my opinion, when it really comes down to it. But Lucia has so much darkness in her, and sometimes she seems to revel in destruction. But she was so innocent in the beginning, before everything happened. Before magic, before Magnus. I am really sad about what happened to Alexius. He brought out different sides to her character, helped us understand her. But now, if she is working with the fire elemental, who knows what that will do to her. But I am interested to find out.

I was hoping something more would happen between Nic and Ashur. I liked Ashur in Rebel Spring and I was really hoping he wasn't bad. I am glad we saw more of him, but I am sad there can't be more between him and Nic. There are so many great and fascinating characters in this series, good and bad, I could go on forever. But those are some of my favourites, and some other major ones. It is really anyone's guess what will happen next, as anyone's actions could change everything. Everyone has their hand in the game now.

“Magnus had come to a horrible realization. One that he knew would cause him nothing but pain and suffering from that day forward. 
But there was no changing the truth of it. 
He had fallen in love with her.”

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