*SPOILERS ARE MARKED*
Description (from Goodreads):
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…
Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Page Count: 413
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
How I Got This Book: Bought
Hello everybody! Today I am going to be sharing my thoughts on Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. This book was insane. It was a crazy, thrilling ride from the first page, to the last. This book grabbed me and pulled me into Mytica before I could even finish the first page.
If you want another review of Falling Kingdoms, but in video format, you should go check out the review from the one and only Jessethereader. We have A LOT of the same opinions on this book, so once you’re finished here, you should go watch Jesse.
The first thing that I want to say about this book is how AMAZING the prologue is! It was very violent in that magical, fantasy world way. *sigh and grin* But everything that happened in the prologue was action-packed and VERY mysterious. But at the same time, it tells you basically everything you need to know to jump into the first chapter. I also found myself wondering throughout the whole book how things in the prologue were going to get woven into the story, which created a very strong Just-One-More-Page-Lie element. It is so confusing and enthralling at the same time.
The next thing that I want to spotlight is the characters. The Characters in this book are quite possibly its best feature. And that is saying something. Every. Single. Character. Was so rich and complex. So interesting and the OPPOSITE of one-layer, which there tends to be a lot of in books these days.
Cleo: At first I didn’t really like Cleo very much. She seemed very spoiled and a bit prissy. All throughout the book she has a very “I get what I want’ attitude, but it seems to be driven more by passion as the book goes on. And the brat-ish-ness of her very spoiled life-style seem to mute a little bit. Her impulse and her emotions run deep, which is something that I can really appreciate for her character.
Jonas: When we first meet Jonas, it is through (spoiled-version) Cleo’s eyes. To her, at first, he seems to be just a flat little side character in HER book, then when we start to get more of Jonas’s POV he proves to be much more than that. Jonas is my favorite character for many reasons. One being that his POV is very full of depth and passion. He knows what he wants, and so he gets it. Not in the way that the Auranians stomp their feet and get it, but in the, he works for a very long time, puts his blood and sweat into it and earns it, kind of a way. His chapters are just burning with a desire for vengeance and justice. Whenever I saw a chapter with the name “JONAS” heading it, I got so excited for whatever grim craziness might be coming!
Magnus: *Glares in his direction* Needless to say, due to my previous action, I do not like Magnus. AT. ALL. Within his first chapter I could tell that he was going to be a bit whine-y and spoiled. I thought that it would fade, like Cleo’s, but nope. He just got worse. Like when the girl he likes *gags* is in the same room as him and it “torments his soul”. He just seemed very melodramatic. I think that this was all foreshadowing, but I just don’t like his character. (More on why he also creeps me out in the spoiler section?)
Lucia: I think I have been pronouncing her name wrong the whole time. Dang it. (I pronounced it “Loo-see-uh” not “Loo-SHE-uh’) Lucia is my second favorite character and I LOVED her POV. At first I didn’t think that she would have a POV, but I am so happy that she did. She turned out to be very important to the story and I am glad that we got to see Limeros through her eyes, as well. With Magnus’s take on Limeros it was hard to really get a feel for it, because he had such a filter on his eyes, but Lucia had a very fresh take on her country. She was so smart and observant and, even though she may not have a whole lot of physical strength, she has wits. That makes her very admirable. She is very perceptive and knows how to take care of herself. I liked the scenes, especially, when she would eavesdrop. It just showed off her mind and the clear, organized way that it worked. Also: with Lucia, we get to see the Limeros side of things without the annoyance of creepy Magnus.
The Kings: All three of them were really intriguing. (Yes, I am counting Basilius as a king for this.) There was this brewing tension between them that made it so nail-biting and brutal and exciting to read about. Basilius kind of weirded me out, with him making people believe he had magic and all, but he was fun and interesting to read about. Gaius struck me as odd and strict when he was first introduced. I thought that he just had some anger issues, but then when his character fully blossomed, he got so intriguing. Yes, he is a messed up dude, but at least his messed-up-ness was done well! And King Corvin. At first, I thought that he was basically the same as Gaius. Strict and angry and mean. But then he warmed up to me and he was one of my favorite characters by the end of the book. (More on that in the spoiler section…) he was so interesting and mysterious, and I would have loved to see inside of HIS head and POV during some of the situations. Like, if Morgan Rhodes ever decides to do a short story collection, there should be at least one scene from all of the King’s/Leader’s POV’s. ( ALSO: I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell previously to Falling Kingdoms, and when I found out that it was Chief BASILIUS, I almost died of irony. Chief Baz. Yes.)
Nic: I AM ROOTING FOR NIC SO HARD. He is so sweet and such a good friend to Cleo. His character reminds me of a Weasley, in every way. Nic and Cleo were made for each other. The End.
Emilia: Emilia plays such an important role in this story. It surprised me actually! I thought that she would die half way through the book and that would be Cleo’s drive. But she just kept holding on, being so strong and poised. Even as she lay there dying. Emilia just has that air of inspiration around her, and my heart broke when I found out her story. About her love and her life. It was all so beautiful and tragic and I think that the role she played in Cleo’s life was detrimental to the plot and certain characters.
There is such a huge cast of characters that I could go on forever, so the ones that I did talk about are ones that I either thought needed a spotlight, or I just had a lot to discuss about them. I know that I am missing one of a main character, Theon, but I just don’t know how much I really have to say about him. I thought he was cool, but he wasn’t my favorite. (Sorry, Jesse.) He was awesome at fighting and being a super-macho awesome dude, but NIC ALL THE WAY!!!!!
I’m not going to spoil anything right now, I just want to warn you to prepare yourself. NOBODY is safe. Even ones I thought were…*sniff sniff* just so you know not to get attached to ANYBODY. Jesse (of Jessethereader) told me to prepare myself, and I thought that I was prepared enough. NOPE. Just…nope.
Speaking of dead people that I really like, the ending was SO COOL! Minus several characters that I really liked being dead now, it was epic. The big battle and the cool politics and betrayals made for such an extreme way to go out that I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book all over again. So many swords. So many bows and arrows. So much fantasy violence. *Angel chorus* (also, if you didn’t gather this already, I am a HUGE sucker for fantasy violence and medieval-like weapons and battles.)
Sum of the last paragraph: The last 60 pages of this book will make you cry, scream, wail, and make any and all other distressed noises that you can make.
There are just a few more things that I want to talk about before I close up the non-spoiler review. The first one being the love triangle/square. I will get more in depth with this in the spoiler section, but there are a few spoiler-free things that I want to discuss! One being that there is a love triangle. But it is more of a square….Like, there are several possible characters that could enter the triangle if the opportunity presented itself. I actually really like love triangles, IF THEY ARE DONE RIGHT. This series has done it right. I like them, and especially in this book, because it gives you just one more thing to get invested in within the story. In Falling Kingdoms, you kind of pick a team of characters and root for them and hope that they don’t die. And then they do so you find a new group.
The next thing I want to discuss is the magic system! IT IS SO COOL! With the elements it had the potential to be very cliché. But it was the farthest thing from cliché! It took something from the legends the myths and put its own spin on it. Making it dark and creepy and AWESOME! Also, the blood magic aspect. It put such a fascinating spin on the magic system that I personally haven’t seen before in a book, so I’m very interested in where that is all going. I hope to see even MORE of the blood magic part of the world in the coming books because it is just so AWESOME!
Also: THE WRITING. The writing is so beautiful! The way that this book is written just gives the impression that Morgan Rhodes was BORN to write fantasy. Everything from the wording to the quotes to the descriptions, the writing in this book is magical. It makes this world so engaging and it brings the characters to life and leaves you winded when you close the last page.
I can assure you that you will want to pick up the next book, Rebel Spring, just as soon as I do. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and how things go for the characters. I hope my (remaining) favorites don’t die. But I know that I won’t be that lucky…
That is all I have for the non-spoiler section of this review! I hope you enjoyed it and I will start the spoiler section shortly. If you want to see my overall rating and my wrap up of the review, scroll past the warning at the bottom of the page saying that the spoilers are over.
See YA at the bottom!
*SPOILERS AHEAD. KING GAIUS WILL KILL YOU WITH SPOILERS IF YOU CONTINUE READING THIS REVIEW UNTIL THE NEXT WARNING IF YOU HAVE NOT READ FALLING KINGDOMS. CAUTION. CAUTION. DON’T BE A REBEL. SCROLL PAST THIS SECTION UNTIL YOU SEE THIS WARNINGS TWIN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REVIEW!!!*
So, we’ve all read Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, right? Good.
The first thing that I want to discuss with all of you Falling Kingdoms readers out there is the love triangle thingy we have going on here in Mytica. First the love triangle, or at least what I consider a bit of a love triangle, is Cleo and Nic, and Cleo and Theon. She was obviously rooting for Theon, but then he goes and dies, and only Nic is left. But she won’t shoot him a second glance anymore.
Now I feel like Jonas is kind of joining the mix, because you can kind of see his feelings develop and warp and change through the book. So now I can’t decide if I want Jonas or Nic to win. I feel like Nic is such a nice, silly friend for Cleo, but maybe she needs someone more solemn right now. Also, Nic cares so much for her, and always has. It started with friendship and now I feel like it could very easily blossom into much more than that. And that would be revolutionary for the hard times ahead in Mytica. Such a simple thing in all the chaos.
But then we have Jonas, who is on the verge of total forgiveness towards Cleo. He was so angry and vengeful towards her at first and it would be beautiful for their relationship to go from fear and revenge and hate, to love and caring and passion. Either way the story decides to sway I will be happy, because I am rooting for both.
But I am also worried about Magnus in this love triangle. I don’t think that Cleo would be THAT stupid, but with this series you can never be sure what is about to happen until it does. I will be happy no matter what IF IT IS NOT MAGNUS WHO WINS CLEO’S HEART.
I also want to talk about some spoiler character stuff, so here that goes.
Jonas: I love Jonas’s character so much. I love his story arc and his character development. I feel like his mind and heart grew so much. And the way that he slowly and grimly recovered from Thomas’s death was really fascinating to watch. He was so angry and know he sees clearly. At first his vision was fogged with grief, but now there is just a hate shaped hole in his heart with King Gaius’s name on it, and I am excited to see where that propels him as a character.
Magnus: Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Magnus’s love for Lucia is so creepy. Even though I kind of saw it coming that she wasn’t really his sister, HE DIDN’T KNOW THAT. As far as he knew, they were related by blood. That is just so wrong. And then when he tried to tell Lucia about how they aren’t related just to make her less creeped out was so wrong. Again: melodramatic. He flips out when she doesn’t like him that way and I just wanted to scream “MAYBE THAT’S BECAUSE SHE GREW UP KNOWING YOU AS HER BROTHER!” but he just wouldn’t listen to me and my screaming at him. And when he decided that his heart was cold near the end of the book just seemed so…bad. When, just because his (she thinks) sister wouldn’t KISS HIM, he freaks out and all of a sudden gets pleasure in killing people, and loves war, and wants to bow at his father’s feet. I am just getting some pretty mixed up, jumbled vibes from Magnus.
King Corvin; I WAS JUST STARTING TO LOVE HIS CHARACTER WHEN HE DIED. WHY MORGAN RHODES?!?! WHYYYY!? *falls to knees sobbing*
And the last thing I want to talk about is how CRAZY that ending was. It was so exciting and sad, and I am pretty sure basically every character ever died in that battle. It was so cool, but it was so sad, too. I felt so bad for Cleo at the end there, and I came to like her character so much more when I got a taste of how she stands against so much grief and pressure. So excited to see what the next books hold!
So that is it for the spoiler section of my review! I could talk about this book for hours but this is already my longest review yet, so I’m just going to stop now.
Tell me in the comments what you thought about this book! Opinions on characters, scenes, quotes…anything! I would love to hear what you have to say, and I would love to discuss this book with you!
I’d say that it’s about time to invite all of the non-Falling Kingdoms readers back now, so that is all for you guys!
*SPOILERS ARE OVER. YOU MAY ENTER ONCE MORE INTO THE PIT OF NO SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT FOREWARD. YOU MAY ENTER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ FALLING KINGDOMS!!!*
I highly recommend Falling Kingdoms to both experienced fantasy readers, looking for something new, fresh, and interesting. AND to people looking to get into fantasy, as this book has a big cast of characters, but is VERY easy to follow!
Well, that is all I have for today’s review! I hope that you enjoyed it and I will see you with a new post soon!
My overall rating: