Monday, January 18, 2016

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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 realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....


Rating: 4/5 Stars


Buddy read with Jaz!!!!!!

Before I started Reading Falling Kingdoms, I’ll admit that my expectations weren’t very high. This was a book that had tons of mixed reviews, and when it comes to such cases I tend to fall into the “hate it” rather than “love it” category.

Falling Kingdoms was a very happy exception.

Don’t get me wrong I have read those negative reviews and I completely agree with them. As a matter of fact this book had many things that I usually roll my eyes at in other novels such as Insta-love (tons of it), Special Snowflakes, predictable plot lines, characters making dumb decisions just to add suspense and love triangles hell even love RECTANGLES.

However, I still loved it. I don’t know what it was about it but this book was incredibly addicting for me. Jaz and I had settled in reading five chapters per day… I ended up reading sixteen the first just because I couldn’t get enough.

The basic premise it’s pretty simple:

There are three Kingodms, Auranos, Paelsia and Limeros. Auranos is the richest of the three, their people prosper, their lands are fertile and even the winters aren’t cold, they believe in the goddess  Cleiona even though since the Queen’s death the King has stopped believing and magic and therefore the Kingdom is not as religious as it used to be. Paelsia is the poorest of the three, after being tricked by Auranos’ ruler into accepting a bargain that left them in ruins its people are starving and dying thanks to the cold winters. They are ruled by a Chief that claims to be a sorcerer, even though his taxes leaves his own people even poorer than they were before.
Limeros is at North and is ruled by a blood-thirsty King, its people are highly religious and they worship Goddess Valoria and hate Cleiona, believing her to be the cause of their goddess death.

When an arrogant Auranos’ young Lord kills the son of a wine seller out of spite, it sets in motion a war that has been brewing for over a century.

There are four key players in this story who narrate the story, although we do see a few other POVs from time to time.

I have to admit that even though I love to read it usually takes a lot of time to get into a story. My concentration is simply not good, so I always have to force myself into reading up to a certain part where the action starts and it’s enough to keep my attention without forcing myself to keep reading. That never happened here, Morgan Rhodes has amazing storytelling skills that make you want to keep reading all the time, no matter how dumb or predictable the plot can get sometimes (and believe me that it does).

This was full of surprises here, there twists I didn’t see coming, character development I did not anticipate and even a few character deaths I didn’t think I could care about until they happened.

Regardless, the book has a lot of things that I know will annoy a lot of people, I’m still scratching my head and wondering why I’m not one of them.

The world building was alright, although not very well established. The three Kingdoms stand on the same continent and we are not exactly sure how large they are. Sometimes they discussed going to other kingdoms like one would discuss going to a neighbour’s house, others it was described as a long and hard journey. There weren’t many descriptions either, either of the world or the characters themselves (they were all beautiful though we can’t have YA without everybody being breathtakingly gorgeous).
Around the middle things like magic and the goddesses started to become more important and they were really interesting! Hopefully in the next books they’ll be explained more. Magic used to be important but after centuries it started to fade, leaving most of the lands (especially Paelsia) to slowly die.

There are four key players, Cleo, Lucia, Jonas and Magnus. Their POVs were easy to differentiate which I liked and they all were both good and bad in their own way.

Cleo:

She is the youngest Princess of the Auranos Kingdom and she’s at the beginning well.. kind of a spoiled brat. She has all the freedom a Princess could get without the responsibilities of being an heir like her older sister Emilia. She’s used to getting what she wants, when she wants it and if she’s denied of something she simply goes ahead and does it with little thought of how many people she might hurt in the process.
Needless to say, I wasn’t very much fond of her. Despite all of her freedom and stubbornness, Cleo was also quite mellow, waiting for people to come rescue her instead of doing something for herself. I can’t exactly blame her, considering that’s how her father raised her (we see several instances of this in the novel) but it wasn’t a lot of fun to read about someone who got into trouble and then walked away hoping someone would clean all of her messes.
She was the one who took that Young Lord to Paelsia and let him kill that poor Wine seller’s son, if only she had been more decisive and firm none of the conflict would have happened.

However, she did get to grow as the book progressed and hers was a story I want to know how it’ll develop (even though she did a really stupid thing at the end). She goes through so much in the story that I felt sorry for her, but I’m glad she could learn from it.

Hers were the most romance-heavy chapters of Falling Kingdoms which probably helped in my initial dislike of the character. There is a sort of love triangle with possibilities of becoming a rectangle that I did not appreciate but it gets a resolution I was not expecting.

Jonas:
He is the younger brother of the man who was killed by the Auranian Lord, resentful towards Auranos’ wealth made at the cost of his people, and towards the Princess who was the cause of his brother’s death, he goes on a journey to start the revolution his brother would have wanted.

He was impulsive and rash, but he was also smart enough to realize that something besides a revolution was happening in their land.

Overall, he was an interesting character and it was nice to see him develop from someone so blind for revenge that couldn’t see anything past that, to someone who could make smart choices and see that revenge wasn’t the way to go.

Magnus:

He is the son of the King of Blood, Limeros King who rules his land with an iron fist. He was abused by his father from an early age which left a darkness in him that rises when the war begins. He is also in love with his sister. Yes, you read correctly, Magnus is in love with his beautiful and talented sister, and he hates himself terribly for it.

He was a character I wasn’t sure how I felt about at the beginning, and even now that I’m more on the “have a blowjob by a shark” kind of level of hate, I still see a lot of complexities in him that make for a really interesting character.
I felt bad for him and his attraction towards his sister, he clearly didn’t want to love her that way and was ashamed of himself. She was the only person he loved who loved him unconditionally and didn’t know what to do with the way he felt about her.

As the story progressed he ended up making decisions that pissed me off and that started to show he was leading through a dangerous path.
His chapters were interesting though.

Lucia:


She is Magnus’ sister and a sorcerer, prophesied to bring magic back to all lands. At first, she didn’t cause much of an impression on me. She was the typical Snowflake, beautiful super powerful but afraid of her gifts and didn’t seem to have much of a plot besides being her brother’s love interest. It is only when she starts to practice more with her magic that she seems to have a plot of her own, even though it involves following her father’s commands with no hesitation, despite the fact that she knows just how cruel and manipulative he could be.

She started the same as Cleo actually, but when Cleo got to learn from her mistakes and tried to be a better person, Lucia started blaming other people for the things she caused and putting herself and her horrible family on higher standards… I wasn’t much of a fan of her.

All I have to say is that Falling Kingdoms is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of book, I was lucky enough to love it but I can see many people wouldn’t. I don’t know who I could recommend this to, considering I would have probably picked this up if it weren’t for my curiosity, so I’ll just recommend this one to everybody who wants to try and see!








1 comment:

  1. Great review! I loved Falling Kingdoms, and I found the sequels to be even better than the first book. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

    Erika @ "Books, Stars, and the Pages in Between"

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