Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes


Let the death toll rise! (This is my unofficial slogan for this series, because, for real..)

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes is the third book in my #readfallingkingdoms read-a-thon.

This review contains a lot of SPOILERS!



gathering darknessIn GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

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.


Again, this series is on-brand with this whole killing-off-main-characters thing! Well, they may not be the MAIN characters, but I feel like they’re ones that have made steps in this series.

Like Prince Ashur! I was just starting to like him, and the fact that he was one of the ‘good’ guys was a huge bummer when his sister screws him over. And, I definitely did not see that happening, so major plot twist there.

But the gut-clenching moments through the mass amounts of fight scenes and crazy weather disasters is just the beginning.

I’ve awakened before my time.”

– naked god, pg 2

There’s still that underlying mystery for me when it comes to the Watchers and especially Melenia. She’s the evil mastermind behind the major events of the story. Her control on the King and her minions is dramatic to the story, so I am really interested to see where the story is going to turn now that she’s fallen off the cliff.

And let’s talk about Lucia for a hot minute. Her characterization is up in the air to me. One minute she’s with Cleo in their happy friendship, but she’s constantly battling self-doubt and this overbearing power that she has very little knowledge to control, even with Alexius’s help. Even she can sense this ‘evilness’ just absorbing her life into chaos.

img_3115It was interesting to see her relationship with Alexius blossom into them running away to elope. I feel like she was in such a vulnerable state that she allowed him to manipulate her so easily, and then at the end when he showed his true feelings for her.. that obviously left the gate open for the new character to step in and proclaim his new task for her.

The new discovery of the crystals and their connection to the Kindred brings a new havoc to the story. It felt like everyone was diving into a tiny pool all at the same time. Princess Amara was another huge plot twist to the story.

I am still itching to see more of Magnus and Cleo together! I know there’s something that is slowly boiling, deep down, and when that moment shoots out, I am going to be ready for it. So, fingers-crossed that my romance prediction is correct!

I feel like there were so many things revealed in this book that I can’t remember all of them. This book and series as a whole has been a whirlwind of a good time to read.

Overall, the beginning of this book was more of an even flow for me. I read it within a few days, but once the plot picked up in the second third of the book, I was completely hooked! I gave this installment a 5 out of 5 stars. So far, a solid YA Fantasy series, and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes sword fights, lots of random deaths, catchy romances, and magical plot twists.

The ending was a huge game-changer for the series, and it’ll be fun to see who gets killed off next, because I think we can all agree that Morgan Rhodes isn’t stopping here!

Discussion Questions:

  • Which character were you rooting for but ended up getting killed-off in this series so far?
  • Do you see Lucia as good or evil? How do you think she will come out in the end?
  • Which romance are you into? Who do you think could be next?
  • What was the most shocking reveal in this book / series so far?


Published: 9 December 2014

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 416

How I Read It: Paperback / Audiobook


I’m currently through Frozen Tides, but I hope to finish the next book, Crystal Storm by the end of the week!

Make sure you post your progress using #readfallingkingdoms.


In case you missed it, here are the prior reviews in the series:

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!


Follow me on Bookstagram @treestandbookreviews and on Twitter @KatsTBReviews for even more exclusive bookish content!

Until next time..

Happy Reading,


5 thoughts on “Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

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