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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Release Date: December 11, 2012
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Length: 412 pages

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


Review:

Protagonists: The four protagonists of this tale are individuals who float between light and dark. They are Cleo, a princess who tries to do the right thing but constantly finds herself regretting her actions or inaction, Jonas, a boy who's suffered a grave injustice at the hand of a pompous lord and now searches for justice not only for himself but for his country as well, Magnus the heir to his father's throne who does everything to try and earn his father's favor with varying degrees of failure, and Lucia a princess who's scared at the power she may hold and her only confidant, her brother, seems to be dodging her whenever they are alone. Each of these characters are distinctly unique and are each driven by goals that, at times, intersect leaving a rich and well developed story.


Romance: For those who think a love triangle makes a book confusing romance-wise will have to think twice after reading this book. The romances are so convoluted and crazy, in the best ways possible, that I am left utterly flabbergasted at where this book will go next and what connections could still be made. Now, romance is not at the forefront of this novel nor is it hidden in the shadows like a regretful secret. Instead, it finds the perfect middle ground to drive the story along and in times of need drive the story forward.

World-Building: I've said this before and I'll say it again, I deeply admire someone who decides to break off from our world, whether past, present, or future and create their own world full of unique landmarks and lore. The land of Mytica is divided into three kingdoms, Auranos, the lush and beautiful land flowing with prosperity and luxury Limeros, the icy kingdom in the mountains that, while not as well off as Auranos still holds it's own and Paelsia, a nearly barren wasteland who's only export is heavenly wine that is severely underpaid for. In the midst of tragedy the tension between these nations explodes like a loaded gun.

Predictability: One of the best parts of this book was it's constant unpredictability. It seemed so real as it was free from cheesy cliches and mind-numbingly obvious foreshadowing. Instead the foreshadowing mislead me at times leaving me utterly shocked at the twist or unforeseen event. Now, there were a few times that I could see some things coming though they didn't distract from this epic book, in fact they may have even helped it. I mean, a book where you could see nothing coming could get annoying.

Ending: The ending was full of action and violence, as well as secrets to be discovered and losses to be grieved. At the very end there really isn't a cliffhanger or twist nor would I say it plateaued like many firsts in series tend to do, instead it builds tension until the very last word leaving me begging for the next installment, at least when I was anxiously awaiting this book it was already June or July.

Rating:



This book is so much better than I could have ever thought, and I thought it was going to be pretty dang good. I'm going to do everything I can to get an Advanced copy of the next installment because I believe that after only one book this series may be my new obsession, well tied with Richelle Mead's YA books at least. 


P.S. I announced over on my Facebook Page yesterday that I will be having a giveaway to win a signed copy of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, very similar to my giveaway for a signed copy of The Indigo Spell, who's winner has yet to claim her prize so I may have to select another winner soon. So come back on March 1st to enter to win.

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