Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: December 11th 2012
Book Length: 412 pages
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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....
~ Review ~
I've always wanted to read Falling Kingdoms, the majority of my favourite reads have come from the High Fantasy genre and when I saw that this had princes and princesses alongside rebels, magic and action is was pretty much an instant buy. The only thing that put me off for so long was the mixed reviews on Goodreads, it became obvious that Falling Kingdom’s is the book that splits readers up; you either love this or you hate it, you either connect with the four main characters and enjoy their story or you don’t.
“Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is also darkness. The question is, will one give in to the darkness or the light?”
Falling Kingdoms follows four characters and takes place in Mytica, which consists of 3 kingdoms: Auranos, Paelsia and Limeros.
Cleo is the princess of Auranos and with her older sister being the heir to the throne she likes to rebel against pretty much everything including her arranged marriage. On a trip to Paelsia her friend Peter kills a wine merchants son, this one action starts a war that may very well destroy everyone.
Jonas lives in the poor, diminishing country that is Paelsia. However once his brother is killed by an upper class stranger and a girl stood by and watched, he’s determined to get revenge. Knowing that no one would ever aid the people of Paelsia, even a pauper being murdered in cold blood, Judas starts an uprising against Auranos. He's no longer willing to sit and watch his country crumble but first he must seek aid of the people of Limeros.
Magnus is the heir to Limeros and is the son of the Blood King. Magnus has been raised to be brutal, cold and calculating but there is one person who he can be himself with and who he loves above all… his sister Lucia. Magnus and Lucia are not biologically related however he doesn’t know this at the time, he still believes them to be blood siblings. I wasn’t a fan of this so I sort of zoned out on certain scene’s however don’t let this put you off, this book isn’t all about the romance, plus it’s unrequited!
Lucia is Magnus’ little sister and she’s pretty much your innocent, adorable character. When her father finds out she harbors long ago forgotten magic which is limitless, he’s determined to make every kingdom fall and his feet, starting with Auranos-- Lucia will be his greatest weapon.
“He couldn't deny that she was lovely... maybe even the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. But the most beautiful girl could still be deceptive and evil.”
As you can probably tell all these characters are involved in a huge web that is the plot, there’s just so much going on with impending war, unrequited love, rebellion, magic and chock filled with action. The complexity of this book was astounding and I loved every bit of it, travelling from kingdom to kingdom and watching each character grow and sharing there lows… there’s seriously little happiness in this book it’s all about vengeance and my god do some people get it! There's some romance and it never takes over the plot after all, there's much more pressing matters but I do have my heart set on a certain ship; it's forbidden, wrong, angst-y, full of tension and basically everything I love a romance to have. So it better happen!
“If you want something," Tomas had always said, "you have to take it. Because nobody's ever going to give it to you.”
Many have suggested that Falling Kingdoms is the YA version of Game of Thrones and I can definitely see the resemblance between this book and the TV show. Unfortunately many felt that too many of the scenarios were the exact same as the GoT books but I haven’t read those so I can't comment on this—All’s I would say if that you haven’t read those books than do give this series a try.
Overall this was an excellent first book that has set the series up nicely, some events or betrayals you may see coming but it’s still a fantastic read. The fast paced plot, adventure, treachery, loveable characters (in their own way!) and magic all lead to an addictive read that is absolutely perfect for high fantasy fans. Also that cliffhanger was a doozy, can someone pass me Rebel Spring? My only regret was not reading this book sooner, too long have I been reading 'light and fluffy' reads, it's makes a lovely change to read about a brutal world were you think you're favourite characters are safe.
WHY RHODES WHY?
“Allow your heart to have faith no matter what. It's what will give you strength in troubled times.”