Friday, February 5, 2016

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

The road to power... is paved with blood and magic.

 is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over...

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Spoilers for Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring.

Before I start this review I feel that I should clarify; I wasn’t exactly in the right state of mind when I read this book. What I mean with this is that I was feeling like crap, I still do actually, so when I’m in that sort of mood it’s hard to enjoy simple things like reading, instead I get pissed off, annoyed or angry. So this is not going to be a very encouraging review, I had a few problems with the book that I didn’t with the previous one, even though they were still there. And there were others that were entirely the book’s fault too.

I didn’t enjoy Rebel Spring as much as Falling Kingdoms which is a surprise considering how I always enjoy the sequels better. In the first book it’s usually me trying to figure out if I like the characters, the world and the writing whereas in the second ones it’s more about returning to something familiar and I can enjoy it better.

Falling Kingdoms was all about the start of the revolution that would lead to the fall of the Auranos Kingdom to the hands of the King of Blood, Limeros’ ruthless ruler. I found the first book much more exciting, we were doing a Buddy read with Jaz (same as with this book) and we had settled into reading five chapters per day, but I was so anxious to see what happened that I read fifteen or so chapters in the first day alone. That was not the case with Rebel Spring. This time we did the same, but I struggled to read five mere chapters per day, the story wasn’t as exciting for me as it was in the last and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the ridiculous plot lines and romances that came up in RS.

First, the characters:


She was one of my favorites from the previous book and I was really looking forward to seeing what would happen to her now that she was a prisoner in her own palace. Her engagement and marriage to Magnus was something that I wasn’t expecting (I mean yes, I suspected it but for some reason I never thought it would really happen, you know?) and their developing relationship was one of my favorite aspects of this book. Especially after I was brainwashed by Jaz started seeing them forming an interesting pair.

However, that was pretty much all the excitement I got from her. This is something that happened not just with Cleo but with the entire book, not much happened. It was frustrating seeing Cleo doing nothing. Sure, I get it, she’s in no position of power now. But there were so many missed opportunities, so many little things that she could have done or started that would have made a difference later on and given her leverage. She was so fixated on the big picture, taking back her throne, that she did nothing. Cleo spent most of the novel waiting for things to happen rather than going and doing them herself because… I DON’T KNOW WHY. Seriously, it was annoying. What’s the fun of a character who does absolutely nothing?

Every little plan she came up with was easily squashed down by the King, and no wonder because they were dumb as fuck. I really hope she gets to learn more in the upcoming books.

I liked the ending with Cleo helping/manipulating Lucia with her Elementia, but based on what we have seen so far I got a feeling that she’ll end up without her ring and any supporters in less than a chapter, that’s how crappy her luck is.


I gotta say, I enjoyed Jonas in the first book and shipped him a little bit with Cleo too but all of that was gone in this book. Jonas was just so… stupid.

Seriously, all of his plans were dumb as shit. He was in an enemy Kingdom ruled by a freaking dictator who kept tabs on everyone and he and Brion (his best friend) walked down the streets claiming to be rebels and asking everybody how they felt about the new King… and then they were surprised when they got caught?

I mean the idiot started vandalizing a poster of the King in the middle of the street with guards watching and the two assholes almost died because of it.

Later, his plan to kill the King in the wedding was also dumb. They were supposed to hide inside the church where Cleo told them, instead they showed up dressed up as guards… how the hell could they think that the King wouldn’t have thought of that?
Instead of coming up with something smart, Jonas decided it would be a good idea to attack during the wedding because most of the guards were waiting outside keeping tabs on the crowd. I don’t understand how they thought the King would have absolutely no protection inside? And, even if there were no guards posing as guests, there were still hundreds of people inside the church who could rise against them! Or did they think people would just stay sat and watch like some kind of sick show?

Of course Jonas had to fuck it all up giving a ridiculous speech about how he would kill them all instead of, you know, ACTUALLY KILLING THE FUCKERS! The idiot gave the King enough time to position his soldiers and slaughter all the rebels. How the fuck did he not thought of that? NOOOO, he had to give a stupid speech and got them all killed.

His romance with Cleo, although I was sort of shipping it in the last book it didn’t do wonders for me now. It was dumb and not very well executed; they were fighting and the next second they kissed and… what?

Basically Jonas plot was going around doing dumb shit that everybody but him knew it wasn’t going to work, and being involved in boring ass love triangles… although to be fair that’s pretty much the plot of every character in this book.

When they mentioned that Phaedra, a Watcher, was keeping tabs on a human and they showed a golden hawk watching over the camp I thought “Wouldn’t it be great if the watcher is in love with Cleo?” Because this is the Falling Kingdoms series, of course that hawk/watcher/thing would be part of the love story, so if it had to be, it might as well offer some much needed diversity and give us a girl/girl romance.

But no, of course she had to be in love with Jonas. And so freaking in love that she gives up her immortal life to save his ungrateful ass? And dies the next second?!

What it’s so fantastic about Jonas that people follow him and girls give up their immortality to be with him? Sure, he’s described as gorgeous but in a book when even the slaves come from a Victoria Secret runway, you’ve got to offer something else, and Jonas doesn’t.


My sweet Magnus, again I was undecided on whether I loved or hated you, mostly because you are a fucking dick, but at the same time… you are not and your dickness is a way to survive under your father’s scrutiny so I do love you. And even if I didn’t, you killing Aron would have definitely made me love you because FUCK YEAH THE FUCKER IS DEAD. BURN IN HELL YOU LITTLE COWARD PIECE OF SHIT.

I was wondering how he would still deal with his love towards his sister and, unfortunately, he still loves her which is sad because she doesn’t, not like that at least, which makes for a very miserable Magnus. His engagement to Cleo is not helping either because, who the heck would want to marry someone that hates your guts and it’s pretty much your enemy in every way?

Still, I loved the relationship between them. It wasn’t insta-love and they are still far from…well, touching each other voluntarily, but the thought it’s there. It’s not in crying to be in love after talking with that person four times (Yes, I’m looking at you Lucia) but it’s about developing feelings slowly, like normal people do.

Magnus went from wanting to be ruthless and uncaring like his father (as well as believing he already was) to swearing to himself he would not become him.



That’s pretty much all I have to say about Lucia, why is she even in this story? In rebel spring we see a much darker and hypocrite version of Lucia, turning an otherwise bland character into a bland character who thinks it’s better than everybody else… not the greatest thing in the world.

After the explosion that took countless lives, Lucia is trapped in a dream world where she meets with Alexious, a super-gorgeous-will-make-you-vomit-beautiful Watcher who tells her how she’s part of the prophecy and, pretty much all the things we already know. They also kiss after talking four times and she claims to be in love with him.

Four motherfucking times.

After which she says she is still not sure whether she trusts him or believes he is real which is just as dumb.

Her dismissal over the deaths she had caused baffled me, especially as she started to become more and more of a villain, treating everybody as lowly and enjoying causing pain and fear on other people. I love villains, I was reading The Rose Society at the same time and the way the author portrayed Adelina was wonderful; I rooted for her, I wanted Adelina to succeed and the good guys to loose. Here with Lucia instead of “Don’t kill her please!” I was more inclined to “Just fucking kill her, please!”

I was curious to see how the relationship between her and Cleo would be, but it all started with the wrong foot when Lucia, even though she hadn’t known her, was dreading the time she would meet the spoiled Princess, because God forbid Cleo complains about having her family and kingdom butchered!

It was worse when they actually met and Lucia hated her on sight:

“Princess Celiona was just as beautiful as she’d heard. And Lucia found that she hated her immediately.”

Another thing was her relationship with the King. Despite having witnessed countless times her father’s cruelty toward everyone including his own son, she doesn’t hesitate to trust him and believe his words because he “never had been cruel to her”. THAT’S BECAUSE HE WANTS SOMETHING FROM YOU, YOU IDIOT!


I’d heard about a new female character that would appear in this series, and I had my hopes up. I’m not going to lie, however, when she appeared and was great with arrows and had a thick braid down her back my mind instantly went to this:

Can you blame me? She doesn’t have to save her little sister, but she does want to rescue her older brother which is still pretty similar to Katniss. 

Still, Katniss aside I was really disappointed with this girl. At first I thought she was going to be one of Jonas love interest (why don’t you just pull my eyes out and end this quickly, book?) but when that didn’t happen I was relieved. Sure, there was still Brion who had a crush on her but it didn’t take anything from the character. Lyssandra was more focused on the revolution than a guy making moves on her.

She didn’t have a lot to do besides complaining about Jonas idiocy (which I will admit it must be hard work) and thinking about her brother very… veeeery occasionally. The rest of the time was just her being… there.

I didn’t like how she treated Cleo. Just because she was a Princess Lyssandra thought she had never suffered or was ok with the King of Blood having killed her father and taking away her Kingdom, killing her people. No, Lyssandra had been sort of poor so she was the only one who suffered.

I got mad when Brion accused Lys of being in love Jonas because:
a.       Lyssandra had told Brion over and over how she wasn’t interested in him but apparently it took another penis for him to show respect and stop?
b.      The whole bullshit of “She realized she never tried to deny it.” Thing. Jonas and Lyssandra had shown no chemistry whatsoever, they barely talked or liked each other and suddenly they were in love?

Worst romance ever.

Random things to notice:

He’s the Prince that comes from the land across the sea, and he kisses Nic (and Nic kisses him back!!!) I expect great things from him but, is he friend or foe?

The Queen:

In Falling Kingdom’s Magnus mother had been more of a background character than anything else, but in Rebel Spring she steps into the stage when she confesses that she’s the one keeping Lucia asleep with a potion until she finds a way to kill her, because she realizes that her daughter is evil and so she has to end her life before the magic consumes her.

Unfortunately, she was killed off before anything could happen, which leads me to my next point.

Deaths being meaningless:

Falling Kingdoms kicked us in the gut with its deaths, the author made us feel pain, the importance of a life cut at a short time. In this book the author kills, but she doesn’t dwell on it, the deaths are more as a shock factor rather than or anything else.

Do you remember how heartbroken Cleo was about the death or Theon? Her sister and her father? Well she’ll barely think about them here! It’s as if nothing had ever happened. Cleo kisses Jonas, who is the person Theon died rescuing her from, and she doesn’t even blink an eye.

Mira, her friend and Nic’s sister dies and the characters are like “Oh no… who was she?” Not even Nic pays much attention to that, we don’t even see him breakdown, only Cleo saying “he was sad” and that’s all!

Same with the rest of the deaths, like Brion. “Oh no he’s dead… wow, Lyssandra turned gorgeous all of the sudden???!” If you are going to kill a character at least make it memorable, don’t throw it away as if they were disposable.

Overall, Rebel Spring was an entertaining book but it was plagued by insta-love, convenient plot devices and bullshit. I’m looking forward to the next book because of the magic and Cleo/Magnus, if the rest of the characters disappear, that’s fine by me.

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