Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
Series: Falling Kingdoms, #1
War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.
Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.
The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.
Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.
What a rush!! LITERALLY. I'm already on the second book and it looks like it's going to be one of my favorite fantasies ever! I might even love it more than Throne Of Glass.
We follow four main characters that come from different kingdoms in Mytica: Auranos, Paelsia, and Limeros. Their lives become entwined when their kingdoms clash due to political shenanigans and a struggle for power.
Sixteen year old Princess Cleiona is bound to marry Lord Aron Lagaris, who she deeply despises and is a drunk fool. As her sister's health worsens, she goes on quest for an exiled watcher when she learns that they could use their magic to save her sibling.
While I think she was a wonderful female lead, I found her a bit reckless and endangering the lives of others. I know that she was deeply thinking about her older sister but she didn't stop and think about who's life she risked in the process.
There's also another character that we were starting to get to know better and then something happens!!
Jonas Agallon, son of a wine seller, is probably my least favorite to read about. His chapters aren't boring but I just wasn't that compelled about his side of the story like I was with the other characters.
He's filled with rage and need for vengeance after watching someone he loves be murdered by the hands of someone from a neighbor kingdom. He's blinded by his anger that it makes him vulnerable to the real threat out there. He also hates royals in Auranos for essentially getting the better bargain in trades and for keeping his kingdom in poverty while they lavish in everything.
While Prince Magnus if often viewed as this dark, arrogant and cold heir to the throne, he is often misguided. I was a little disturbed by his feelings for a certain someone. And I HATED what he did to a certain someone (Being vague here because I don't want to spoil), but I still think he's pretty interesting and fun to read about. In fact, the chapters in his point of view are my favorite when I really think about it.
Then we have Magnus's younger sister by one year who discovers something big about herself. Something she didn't know she could do. And she's not sure who to trust with her secret. I wouldn't say she's a dislikable character. But I don't think we saw enough of her to get a feeling of who she really is as a person.
I got to the halfway mark by listening to the audiobook and then finishing the rest on my own. And I find it to be such a smooth transitioning to a high fantasy world. The magic system is also pretty easy to understand. And the pacing never faltered as we got deep into the story!!
One of my biggest worries was the multiple point of views in the story. Normally, I can't handle a book if there's more than two narratives but Morgan Rhodes did such a miraculous job handling that. Giving all the characters their own unique personalities so it's very easy to tell them apart. There's also the fact that each chapter that begins has the kingdom at the top so you know where you are. I was halfway into the story when I realized this and I was so happy!!
I think the only thing I had trouble understanding were the stories of the watchers. Either it wasn't explained where they came from and what they're purpose is or I was not paying attention because I was too in love with Magnus to care.
There's not much romance in this book. I'm patting myself in the shoulder that I actually enjoyed a book where the romance wasn't a big part of the plot. Weirdly enough though, I started to ship two characters before they even met. I just had a feeling that they would have chemistry. I can't wait to see how they interact for the rest of the series.
I didn't expect this to be so twisted and dark but I love dark fantasies so I am okay with that. But my heart was so broken and I was in tears with all the losses and blood that was shed! I'm not okay!! Morgan Rhodes sure loves to torture her characters and now I'm scared to read the sequels for fear of their lives.
At first, all the rulers just seem so cold and evil, which made me question who the real villain is. It was crazy!!
Overall, Falling Kingdoms is now one of my favorites of 2016!! I tried picking five books that didn't turn out to be "me" books but this was a winner. It's just such a quick and compelling read. I'd recommend having the sequel because you'll want to continue with the story as soon as you finish!!
Definite high recommend to all those who love Fantasy!
4 Sea Stars: A Great Read!
What do you think of Falling Kingdoms? Have you read it?