Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 412
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Amazon Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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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?

I admit I was a bit nervous about this book because I am not a big fantasy fan. I do love Game of Thrones but I can't think of any other fantasy shows or books I like. There is a large cast of characters that was a little confusing for the first few chapters but there is a very helpful map and character guide at the beginning. Once I got all the characters down, I was totally hooked. An exciting ride full of revenge, backstabbing, blackmail, and power hungry people desperate for more land, more power, no matter what it takes to get it. No one was safe. That was exciting and depressing at times. As soon as I started to care about a character they were killed! With so many characters it is hard to get into them but I'll outline a few things I liked about each one.  

Auranos was my favorite kingdom and Princess Cleo was my favorite character. This is the wealthy land that all the other kingdoms are jealous of. Cleo makes a poor decision in the beginning but she does learn from it. She was also always willing to sacrifice herself for the people she cares about. Although she may be a somewhat spoiled and sheltered princess she never let that hold her back from doing her best for the people she loves. Her character had the most romance. She is engaged to Aron, an awful guy that is blackmailing her. Cleo begins to fall for her new guard and also has a best friend Nic who I adored. 

Limeros had by far the most evil leaders. Magnus is heir to the throne and was an intriguing character but I just couldn't like him. I do think most of his actions were based off his horrible father but I was hoping he would stand up against him more. Magnus is in love with his sister, Lucia, which I know threw people off but they are not blood related and that is clear from the beginning. Still weird since they grew up together but I got over it. 

Paelsia was the poor land where they struggle to get enough food. They have the best grape crops so they are known for their wine. But often the rich refuse to pay a good price for it. Jonas suffered a tragic family event and wants revenge. When this first happened I felt horrible for him but then I thought he took his revenge too far. Towards the end I think he began to have the potential to be a strong character and I think in the next book he will right his wrongs.

I loved the way the plot brought all the characters together. At times I didn't know who to root for with all the treachery and deceit but that just made it more fun. The language was some what modern which I liked. The ending left me wanting more. Not so much a cliffhanger but I am dying to see what these characters will do next. I am a new fan of fantasy!

"Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic."

“You’re not just any girl; you’re the princess. It’s my sole duty now to protect you. So wherever you run off to, you can be certain of one very important thing.”
She waited, her breath catching at the intense way the handsome young guard watched her. “And what’s that?”
When he smiled, the look was equally menacing and enticing. “I will find you.”

“If this magic is evil—”
“It’s not,” he said firmly.
She frowned. “Witches have been tortured and executed for what I can do.”
“If a witch could really do what you can, she would never let herself be executed.”

Rating: 5/5


  1. WOW, just WOW! I didn't think I'd want to read this book, but your review has made me reconsider. Thanks, Jen:)

  2. I have been apprehensive about this one too because like you, I am not a huge fan of fantasy.
    It sounds like this is worth the read though.
    Great review!

  3. I'm not a big fantasy fan either. So I'm glad you liked this, despite that. Thanks for sharing the great quotes!

  4. I am stoked that you loved this one. I am anxious to read it myself. Thanks for the fantastic review.

  5. 5/5 stars from you sounds like a win in my book! Thanks for sharing, your informative review!!

  6. I have been so curious about this one. I just found out that Michelle Rowan (Dark Kiss, Blood Bath and Beyond) wrote this under the pen name Morgan Rhodes. I have read some brilliant fantasy reads this year: Shadow and Bone, Stormdancer and Seraphina so I am excited to pick this one up based on your glowing recommendation! Treachery and decieit makes it more interesting, right?

  7. I'm not big on fantasy, but this one sounds fabulous. I don't know why I don't read a lot of it. I think because you really have to think to keep track of stuff lol!! Anyways! Fab review chick!! You have made me really want to pick up this book!!!

  8. I want to get this one! I've seen it everywhere, Target, Walmart, Costco! I seriously need my own copy. I'm also not a big fan of Fantasy, but it just looks really good, and considering you liked it, I cannot wait to read it. And indeed, Game of Thrones is fantastic :3

  9. I'm not big on the fantasy either, so I'm always reluctant to start one. But man, I'm starting to think I should give this one a try.

  10. Yay! So glad to be seeing great reviews for this! I'm so excited to read this. Thanks the awesome review!

  11. Yay, I'm so glad this one got 5 stars from you! I wanted to get to eat this year but I might not get to it until next month :(
    BTW-not sure if you would like Fallen Too Far. From what I have gotten from your reviews you are not a big fan of the jerk guys. Rush was a jerk and I didn't end up liking him until well over halfway through. I know you didn't like The Vincent Boys, what other books of hers have you tried to read?
    I do highly recommend The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (I think it's my favorite book of the year) and The Secret of Ella & Micha by Jessica Sorensen. I think you would really like them. :)
    Awesome review!

  12. I knew you would like this one. It's really not high fantasy -- more like fantasy-soap opera-drama!

  13. Cleo sounds great, and it sounds like one that I will want to give a try.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  14. I've been putting this one off because I'm not a big fantasy fan either. However, if you don't like fantasy books that much and you loved this one then I know I have to give it a try.

    Thanks for the great review. :)

  15. I love the quotes, especially the "It’s my sole duty now to protect you..." I'm definitely going to read Falling Kingdoms.


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