Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Published December 12th, 2012
412 pages (Hardcover)

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? (From Goodreads)

I've been digging the fantasy genre of late, and Falling Kingdoms did not disappoint.

Set in the land of Mytica, Falling Kingdoms has a feel similar to A Song of Fire and Ice (note that I have not read the books, this is based off the two seasons of Game of Thrones I've watched).  As far a settings go, there was not a ton of description beyond the three kingdoms within Mytica.  Some other areas are mentioned in vague detail, and will hopefully become more prominent in future books.  

Morgan Rhodes was not afraid to kill characters, but not until after you became attached, or when you weren't expecting it.  I won't spoil anything but OMG I was not pleased.  So, there is this...

The characters were really well done, and I truly developed some strong feelings for some of them.  Example, I hate Cleo, one of several main characters.  She felt like your typical teenage brat to me, and I was not digging it.  Compare this to Jonas, who I should have hated but couldn't!  I also liked Magnus and Lucia and Theon and ugh...

The story is complex, but not too complicated to confuse you.  I really enjoyed the many perspectives used.  The story follows, for the most part, Cleo, Magnus, Lucia, and Jonas.  Four "protagonists" (you can be the judge on that one) is a lot, but it worked well.  There were some timing issues that come with so many perspectives, but they never threw me off too badly.

Falling Kingdoms was a great read for anyone interest in, but intimidated by, fantasy novels.  I cannot wait to see where the series goes next.

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