Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes is the first installment of the Falling Kingdoms series.
If you’ve been following along with all my bookish shenanigans, you may already know that I have recently began a new read-a-thon, and I invite YOU to join along!
This review contains a lot of SPOILERS!
“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….“
I would like to start out this review saying that this is now my second run-through of this book. Back in early March 2018, I read this book and absolutely fell in love with the world and the characters.
But with all the craziness that was finishing nursing school, I wasn’t able to continue on with the series nor physically write my review on my blog. So for the last eight months, I’ve been staring upon my shelves, waiting for my grand return, and now, I can say that my visit back into their world was just as awesome as before.
I did need a bit of a refresher as to what happened, but once I got further into the book, I was immediately reminded of all the epic twists and turns that the author lays in front of us.
For there are a TON of plot twists.
So, where to begin with the review..
For this go-around, I used my physical copy along with the Audiobook from my previous library (as I recently moved into a new library system) . So with the help of both, I was able to fly through this book in only a few sittings.
I loved how this first installment is told from multiple POVs, and the chapters are written by kingdom. Even though we get into the heads of quite a few characters, for me, it brought the various perspectives together and easily organized by the country.
So for instance, you’ll notice that Magnus and Lucia’s POVs are under the chapter headings Limeros instead of being presented with their own separate chapters. I just found it to be more of a convenience for me.
And there is a wide range of characters in this one.
For one, there is the super annoying Aron, which I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks this. You can’t help but feel immensely sorry for Cleo, and on top of that, he’s just a total snobby douche. Every time his character is brought up, all I want to do is hope that something happens to get him out. But, spoiler, we don’t get so lucky.
Then we get to meet princess Cleo stuck in a bad situation. She’s more of the innocence to the world that ends up conquering her fears in her final moments. I could definitely see her growth and importance for the next book.
And her relationship with Theon. Ugh. That was one that I would’ve loved to see blossom. But nope. Magnus goes and cowardly stabs him in the back.. literally.
Even though I could tell that they were going to be a thing, it’s one of those relationships that are nice to read along as you feel it come together.
And Magnus. I still don’t know what to think about him. He’s just a hot mess with his forbidden love situation towards his sister, who really isn’t his blood-sister, yet she still sees it that way. And then the king’s mistress that gets a little too close to him while exposing his deep truths. He just has a lot going on.
Lucia was a hidden gem. She’s the magical being that breaks into her powers quite suddenly. She knows something is going on, yet has doubts on who to trust with this information. Which she had a good reason for since her father ended up utilizing and draining all her power at the end.
I feel like these characters aren’t just directed by themselves. Looking back, I begin to realize just how much influence their Kings had on them.
King Gaius had this conniving plan to use his daughter to break down the witch’s door to the enemy’s castle. And then he bred his son to become his successor, brutal in capturing Cleo and conquering the world beside him.
Then we have the Cleo’s father who betroths her to a horrid guy whom he knows she watched murder another man just because he was drunk and being pity. It makes you wonder just what his plan was outside of the politics of their situation.
Jonas. What did y’all think of him??
That ending made me have second thoughts about his personality. We start by uncovering his tense, strong urge for vengeance, but I think he’s becoming one of those characters that puts his feelings aside for the greater good. It’ll be interesting to see how he develops.
But my favorite part of all is the idea of the elemental magic system and the concept of the Watchers. There is so much left untold and the mystery to knowing more invites me in. It’ll be fun to learn more of the history and just what the hidden powers can do further into the series.
This series has a lot of potential. From the murders, to the fights, to the secrets, there is so much left to explore.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. The ending was a surprise, yet not really. We can kind of anticipate a few of the points, but watching it unfold was fun in and of itself. There are twists that we have no way of knowing before it happens, and until the last sentence, we are left wondering if she will escape or not.
I will say that this book is not one of the typical YA Fantasy concepts. You’ll be surprised with who gets killed off pretty early on, since this is a 6 book series. You’ll come across taboo characters and interesting twists to many of the morals of their world.
I can’t wait to see where this world will venture to in the sequel, but I hope it includes a ton of magic!
I highly recommend this adventure if you love fantasy with unique concepts and tons of sudden, plot bombs that will keep you on your toes.
Published: 11 December 2012
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
How I Read It: Paperback / Audiobook
We’re moving onto Gathering Darkness starting tomorrow! Or, if you’re like me, you’ll be continuing Rebel Spring since this past week has been crazy busy.
But don’t worry! We’ll be catching up this week, so make sure you post your progress using #readfallingkingdoms.
If you enjoyed reading along with me, feel free to leave your comments below! What were your favorite parts of this book?
Stay tuned for more book reviews every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday! You can subscribe below for instant links to each of my posts and help share the love of reading YA!
Until next time..