Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

July 22, 2013 Book Review, Falling Kingdoms, Fantasy, Morgan Rhodes, Penguin, Razorbill, YA, Young Adult 32

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Date: December 11th 2012
Source: Bought

From Goodreads:

The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens.

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?

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Falling Kingdoms was the first book picked for the new YA Book Club I am now a part of and I couldn’t be happier that this one became a part of my life!

Right off the bat I was incredibly nervous and overwhelmed heading into it due to the large cast of characters listed at the beginning of the novel. Luckily, I was completely able to keep up with who was who and though I did use the guide a few times, I found it only helped me rather than deter me.

Princess Cleo has traveled from her prosperous kingdom of Auranos to the much poorer land of the middle kingdom, Paelsia, with the nobleman and one-time friend Aron, so he could buy some of their famously delicious wine. When Aron does not get his way he ends up in an argument with a local that soon escalates and leads to a murder. This starts a downward spiral between the kingdoms and ultimately leads to war. That’s the gist of it without getting into too many details.

Rhodes has given us the perspective of this war and the characters from all sides. This worked tremendously because it allowed us to see the good and bad in all the characters. Someone who is a villain in certain regards is also more personable, seen as someone at war with themselves and dealing with horrible personal struggles, allowing for us to connect with them in a way too and perhaps rooting for them to make a turnaround. I fell in love with so many of the characters and I was easily able to follow along with the world building. There were moments of complete shock that left my jaw dropped and moments of anguish, leaving me a mess with tears flowing down my face. And I loved every minute of it!

I am so thankful I gave this book a chance because I fell in love with its fantasy elements and cast of characters. There’s love, heartache, strife and even some magic. This is one I absolutely recommend!

“I never said she was evil. Nor was she good. Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is also 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.”

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

32 Responses to “Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes”

  1. Tanja - Tanychy

    This sounds even better than I thought. I have the book and I was planing on reading it but something else always stops me. I can’t wait to read it as it sounds amazing. Great review Sara 🙂

  2. Natalie Aguirre

    I really liked this too. And I agree that you get to know and sympathize with the “bad” guy too. I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in the series.

  3. Becca

    I really need to read this one. I wanted it so badly when it first came out, but I think it just fell off my radar overtime. I like how the characters aren’t “black and white” — where every person shows a good and bad side. It reminds me of Game of Thrones and definitely shows the depth of a character.

  4. Nick

    I got this book from the library last week and I’m super excited to get to it now after reading your review. I’m a huge YA fantasy fan, so I reckon I’m going to enjoy it.
    I’m curious about what you mentioned about the characters, especially the fact that you could see the struggles of the villain. I’m excited to meet these characters.
    Fabulous review, Sara! 🙂

  5. Andreea G.

    Not sure if it’s something I’d like but I am glad that you loved it. It’s so great when you find a book that takes you by surprise and you end up loving it!


  6. Kate @ Ex Libris

    I have had my eye on this one for a while. I’m glad to hear that you like it because it looks really good. I’m kind of new to fantasy, though, so I’m always a little hesitant.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  7. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Books with battle fights are the only fantasy ones I like. (Throne of Glass, Of Silver and Beasts) I was worried about all the characters too but glad it worked out for you. This looks epic, I need to put it in my TBR jar!

  8. Aylee

    Wow, this sounds fantastic! I don’t usually like a ton of characters, but it’s reassuring that you were able to follow along really easily. And the the many perspectives actually bettered the story by allowing you to see it from all angles! Ohhh, I want this now!! Haha, it’ll probably have to wait a bit though, for when I can find the time. Nicely reviewed!

  9. Aman

    Usually too many characters ends up confusing me, so I’m really glad that there is a guide to it. I haven’t read Games of Thrones, but I love fantasy, so this is definitely going in my list. Great review, Sara 🙂

  10. starryeyedjen

    I liked this one, but I didn’t love it, simply because of all the characters and points of view. It got better toward the end, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next book. I’ll just go into it with lower expectations than I had for this book. Glad YOU loved it, though, and that it worked well for your first book club read. 🙂

  11. Lauren Elizabeth

    Yay! I’m so glad to hear you loved this! I did too, I really loved the characters and the world, and got completely sucked in. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Rebel Spring! Fabulous review!

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