Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1), by Morgan Rhodes Publication: December 11, 2012, by Razorbill Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure Pages: 412 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased Rating:
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….
I’ve been hesitant with high-fantasy since Sarah J. Maas’s unstoppably perfect Throne of Glass series came into my life. I’ve been afraid that I won’t feel that way about a book ever again, specifically in the same genre. When I purchased this, it was mainly for the reason that everyone was talking about it, the hype and the assassin-like cover intrigued me. Morgan Rhodes’s books should’ve entered my life a long time ago, I’ll tell you that.
Falling Kingdoms is a read that hit me like never before. It’s enchanting, brave and heart-warming. Rhodes causes readers to fall in love with each and every one of the characters, even if a bad streak of evil is in their personality. Though I’ve never read Game of Thrones, it is highly compared to it which definitely shows that I’ll love George R.R. Martin’s world as well. Even though I’m on a book buying/borrowing ban, I can’t stop myself from requesting the sequel of this book to fly into my hands. I’ll be reading it soon. *smiles*
“If you want something,” Tomas had always said, “you have to take it. Because nobody’s ever going to give it to you. Remember that, little brother.” (27)
Every character in this novel is fighting for themselves and their kingdoms. There’s no extra, forbidden romance that brings everyone together. At least, not so far. If something does come up in the next novels, I’ll still be a hardcore fan because it hadn’t sprouted up in the beginning. Rhodes has created three kingdoms that all lay on one chunk of land, separated by controlling borders: Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos. In each, we have a main character who has some kind of role in the book’s plot.
Cleo: Princess Cleo is basically the new Celaena Sardothien from ToG. Cleo’s super badass and can fit the role of being the new queen of Auranos. And hey, she’s able to fight and kick people’s butts—bring them down, basically. Although some have noted that she’s completely annoying and eerie, I’d state otherwise. She impressed me from the start and when her perspective came around in Auranos, I looked forward to it the most. She’s there for her sick sister, trying to believe in magic although it might be kind of impossible for her in her situation, and she needs to help the people whom she loves. I ship her with Magnus, OR Jonas… somehow Rhodes will make it work.
Jonas: Here we have another character who fights for the people who he loves. Jonas lost his brother in a careless accident caused by Aron, the man who Cleo’s going to marry, and Cleo was a bystander. Jonas is one of those independent guys who stays by his words, y’know? He threatened Aron and Cleo, saying that he’ll kill them, and he tries to do whatever it takes to find them and bring Auranos and its throne down. Then he discovers that his land, Paelsia, as well as the north neighbours, Limeros, have signed a deal and they’ll start a war together. Our little teenager Jonas WAS PART OF THIS WAR. That’s a cute “prince” if you ask me.
Magnus: So this is the ladies’ man, and obviously everyone’s favourite. Some may feel that it’s kind of strange that he has an obsession with his little sister, Lucia, who has a secret that can bring his family down (that has to do with elementia magic) and he’s more overprotective of her than ever. That’s an adorable big brother, if you ask me. I fell in love with each of the male interests, by the way. I don’t care what’ll happen because it’ll all somehow work out.
“Magic will find those with pure hearts, even when all seems lost. And love is the greatest magic of all. I know this to be true.” (248)
Things kept getting messed up for each of the characters, though even as a reader, I felt like I was always kind of there for them? I mean I know it’s kind of strange, but I felt that I could relate to these characters, and it happened so easily. I felt like sobbing to the fullest extent many times while reading, and I had an impeccable reading experience throughout. It’s a slower read to get your mind into, as there’s tons of facts about the land and magic that you’ll need to understand to continue reading, but I loved every minute of it, from start to finish. If I could’ve, I would have finished it in one sitting, I promise you. I bet that it simply just depends on your reading speed and what you’re usually used to. Rhodes’ writing is fantastic, fantasizing and like a pinch of pixie dust; You’ll feel its power and magic.
So what am I, magical reader, expecting from the next book? More plot twists, suspense and hell-yeah-awesome action scenes. Rhodes’ interpretation of an action scene taken in a fantasy world is kickass. You must expect everything: the swords, assassin-like moves and hiding, as well as appearances of enemies. I already read a snippet of book two and I can’t believe what’s happening. Rebel Spring is going to kill me, once again.
Falling Kingdoms ruined my life, but in a remarkable, grand way. It’s one of those reads that you’ll be reading other reviews of for hours, trying to see other people’s opinions and summaries so you can get that special touch again. And—get ready for a Morgan Rhodes book haul the next time you head out to your bookstore/library. YOU NEED ALL OF THE BOOKS.
so let’s discuss. would you rather be: a princess/prince who has to marry a murderer but has all of the jewels and pretty stuff, a person who is a great fighter and is loved by tons of people but who has gone through a horrible loss, or a person who can play with magic but is always at risk of being killed? morgan rhodes plays with my head and i can’t stop thinking about these possibilities!