Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
My rating: 5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pub. date: December 11th 2012
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... (synopsis from Goodreads)
I don’t even know where to begin. I loved everything about this book! The characters, the writing, the plot, the world… Everything! Before I started reading, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like the multiple POVs, but it ended up being one of my favourite things about the book! It gave a better picture of what was going on, and honestly, I don’t think it would’ve worked without it.
I loved the characters!
I won’t talk about each one individually, but I can tell you that all of them were awesome! I loved the wide variety of characters, they were all very different and added something to the plot. Sometimes when reading a book with so many perspectives, you don’t like all the characters, you feel like you don’t get to know all of them enough, and end up only wanting to read of the POVs. This was not the case with Falling Kingdoms. I got to know and loved all of the characters, though it was a bit frustrating that they were all on different sides in the war, because it meant rooting for one character meant not rooting for another one. I wanted it to go well for everyone!
The romance was great.
In books like this one, I like it if the romance takes a little less room in the story, I want more focus on the plot and the world-building. In Falling Kingdoms, the romance does have a bit bigger part than I usually like, but it worked in this book, because of the way it was used. It added suspense and interest to the plot. I can’t say more than that without spoiling it, but it worked surprisingly well, and I liked it. Apart from adding to the plot, it was also surprising and different from what I’ve previously read. It was refreshing.
Can we take a moment to appreciate the world-building?
In High Fantasy, everything stands and falls on the world-building. If the world-building isn’t good, then I can’t enjoy the book, because it feels flat and unconvincing. And the world-building in Falling Kingdoms is amazing! It feels authentic and real, making it really easy to get lost in it and forget all about the real world. And it was interesting to read about it. I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to learn more about this world (and also because I needed to know what happened, but more of that later)!
The plot was captivating and perfectly paced!
I always hesitate to use the word ‘perfect’ to describe anything about a book, no matter how much I loved it, but this one time, I’ll make an exception, because that is the only way to describe the pacing of this book. There was always something going on, some new plan, something else going completely wrong (and it did, all the time) that made it impossible to put it down. There was no such thing as ‘just one more chapter’, because I knew that would be just lying to myself. But it wasn’t too much. It was still easy to follow and completely captivating. I couldn’t catch my breath until I had finished it!
The ending broke me.
It was a good ending, it really was, but it just broke me. And this is where it gets tricky to review it, because I want to tell you exactly how broken I am after that ending, how much I cried – and I cried rivers, guys, rivers – but I can’t without spoiling it, so I’ll just leave it at that.