Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Pages: 412
Published: December 11th 2012
Publisher: Razorbill

Synopsis:

“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 realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….”

Sooooo…. honestly?  My first impression after finishing the book was that it is VERY Game of Thrones-y.  I want to say 80% of the characters die in this book.  Is this supposed to be a Game of Thrones inspired series? *goes to look it up*

After the first death I literally said to myself, “Don’t get attached because this is G.O.T ALL. OVER. AGAIN.” 

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And it was.  So if you’re okay with that mental slaughter and reading about death everywhere – you will love this book.

This book is literally so Game of Thrones and here’s a quick list why:

  1. You have kingdoms at “peace” but not really at peace.
  2. Incest (recall: first episode of GOT)
  3. Murder
  4. Murder
  5. Murder
  6. Death
  7. Murder
  8. Vengeance
  9. Murder
  10. War!
  11. Exile

Don’t get me wrong, this book was still incredibly enjoyable to read.  It was fast paced and action-filled from beginning to end.

Rhodes did an excellent job with world building.  Mytica has three kingdoms, and throughout the book there are four storylines from these different kingdoms.  The benefit of all these POV’s is that you develop solid understanding of what’s going on throughout Mytica and why certain characters act certain ways/do what they do.  I found each of the kingdoms to be fantastic, well-detailed, and truly interesting.

Auranos, the southern kingdom.

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It is the most plentiful and richest. Extraordinarily beautiful, Auranos is an enormous land filled with rich soil, evergreen lands, warm natural weather, and abundant of wonderful resources.  Auranos is ruled by King Corvin Bellos, and his late wife Queen Elena Bellos.  They have two daughters: Princess Emilia Bellos, and Princess Cleiona (Cleo) Bellos.

In this luscious kingdom, we get the perspective of the youngest princess, Cleiona.  Irresponsible, slightly immature, spoiled, and essentially living the dream because she isn’t immediately in line for the throne:

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Totally Princess Cleoina, underdog until the very end.

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I can totally envision Emilia and Cleo’s relationship like that in Pride and Prejudice with the Bennett sisters.

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Tell me this doesn’t remind you of Lord Aron

UPDATE!!! “Morgan Rhodes: Magnus, on paper, was originally supposed to be the bad guy…the son of the evil king who wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Kind of a cross between Joffrey from Game of Thrones and Draco Malfoy.”

Paelsia, the middle kingdom

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Paelsia is the middle kingdom.  It is dry, mostly barren, and very poor.  Their only form of trade is wine, and because Limeros does not drink, they are forced to sell to Auranos to survive. Most Paelsians believe that Paelsian wine is their best hope and survival for the country, however, a few people (including Jonas Agallon) believe this an ignorance and weakness of Paelsians.

The kingdom of Paelsia is ruled by the Chieftain Hugo Basilius. He has two daughters; his eldest named Laelia Basilius. Chief Basilius contains rather a poor and selfish leadership. He claims himself a wizard gifted with incredible magic and for that, he was quickly rose as Chieftain. However, this is considered a lie but the Paelsian country people do not know. Only a very few do not trust nor believe in the Chieftain.

In this kingdom, we are placed in the perspective of a peasant named Jonas Agallon.  A tragedy near the beginning of the book places him as a forerunner in the events of the entire book.  You could understand his rage and desires, I felt for him so deeply.

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Limeros, the northern kingdom

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kuroe702 from DeviantArt! #talent

Limeros is the most northern kingdome in the world of Mytica.  Their primary trade is fishing and military use. Limeros is an extremely cold and barren country with abundant of snow cover. Despite the deep coldness, the kingdom of Limeros is quite beautiful.

The kingdome of Limeros is ruled by King Gaius Damora and his wife Queen Althea Damora.  They have two children, Prince Magnus Damora, and Princess Lucia Damora.  King Gauis also has a bastard son, Tobias Argynos, and a mistress; Sabina Mallius.

In this kingdom, we are plunged into the world of Prince Magnus.  Honestly, I felt for him so deeply.  You see his desire to be strong and loved, and eventually you see him turn into the true Prince of Blood.  He has the most development (I think) in the entire book.  It’s so sad.  Also, I secretly shipped him and Cleo together…

As an aside, the synopsis makes it sound like you’re getting this huge amount of Lucia perspective.. but you’re really not.  It’s more of seeing Lucia through Magnus’ eyes.  However, I do believe Lucia will play an even bigger role in the next book.

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credit to princeofbloodandgold.tumblr.com for this beautiful rendition of Magnus.

The Watchers

The name is essentially true to what they do.  They seem to go from kingdom to kingdom observing and looking for magic in the form of hawks.  A few spaced out chapters were devoted to the perspective of a young watcher.

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You are so immersed into the world that you eventually find yourself rooting for a certain character more than others.  And even when you choose a kingdom/character to root for, you still get the full experiences of the other ones.  Which becomes a really intense and awesome experience by the end of the book because all of the kingdoms collide and it’s crazy.

I think overall, the writing is on point and I do believe that Rhodes did an outstanding job making the characters so diverse and the world so rich.

In terms of magic.. I don’t really think magic was as necessary as it was made out to be.  Like near the end of the book it became way more about magic than it was in the beginning and I don’t really know if I liked that.  I think the storyline could have survived without that development.  However, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the second book.

My overall rating: 4/5

PS: My photos are all from Googles.. There’s a mix of fan art, gifs from movies, etc.  I tried to give credit where I could find it.  If you want credit added just message me! 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

  1. Annette says:

    This series sounds amazing – although your GoT comparison has serious teeth! And I’m 100% on an incest element. Still, I’m hoping to try this series one day. Love all the graphics in this review too!

    Like

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