Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms  
Series: Falling Kingdoms Series
Author: Morgan Rhodes 
Publisher: Razorbill 
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Library 

My Rating: fullfullfullfullhalf

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? (taken from
I am such a sucker for an awesome fantasy novel. Sure, paranormal romances and cute pieces of chick lit are fine and dandy, but there's nothing like an epic tale of magic and legends. I grew up reading The Lord of the Rings and Eragon. How could I not crave a little fantasy every now and then?

When I first started Falling Kingdoms, I was pretty confused. The story launches into action immediately and doesn't give you much time to figure things out. Thankfully, there is a helpful character guide to keep you from getting too overwhelmed. Not going to lie, I had to refer to it more than a few times simply because there are so many different people to keep up with. Each chapter switches between one of the four main characters' points of view. This can be a bit confusing, but as you get to know each protagonist, it becomes easier.

The complexity of the novel is quite impressive. Each kingdom has a unique personality, and I loved exploring the world of Mytica and learning about all of its different inhabitants. Rhodes' vivid descriptions allowed me to easily form mental pictures of the beautiful lands and striking characters. Gah, the characters. I fell in love with so many of them. I couldn't get enough of their vivd personalities and adventures.

Rhodes likes to tease. She likes to dangle incredible ideas and characters in front of her readers before snatching them away. The plot toyed with my emotions, and yet somehow I was still captivated. The ending was intense and bloody. I cannot wait for the next book, especially after that closing line. Goosebumps. 

I'd HIGHLY recommend Falling Kingdoms to lovers of Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock. Both have the same feel, from the separated kingdoms to the focus on strong character development. If you enjoy tales with political intrigue and dark magic, then be sure to give this new fantasy a shot.