Title: Falling Kingdoms (Book 1 in Falling Kingdoms)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Release Date: January 1, 2012
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 realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….
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?
I can’t believe it’s been three and a half years since this book was first released. I remember reading so many good reviews, seeing the awesome cover, and putting it on my TBR list immediately. And now that I’ve finally read it, I am just amazed at everything about it!
The writing style was really cool – the third person but from the point of view of the four main characters was really cool, but the unique voice and insight into each character was what truly enraptured me. Every scene showed more about their personalities and unique situations, making it so hard to be emotionally invested in them when they were all fighting against each other. This was an aspect of the book that surprised me because usually there’s two sides in a story – good and evil, basically. But this book added in a third side to twist it all up and complicate it. This made for an exciting, unpredictable, and unique story that hooked me in for the entirety of the book and triggered this insane urge I have for wanting the second book in my hands now!
I just couldn’t root for one character. I also couldn’t root for just one character. Each of them tugged on a different heartstring, and there was a certain shock at seeing them and their outer personas through the eyes of the other characters versus their inner feelings that were revealed during their own chapters. It was also emotionally challenging due to the series of realistic but heartbreaking events of the story. I’ll warn everyone now, even though this book was fantastic, it is not for the reader looking for an uplifting, encouraging story. It is a story of hardship, loss, struggle; a tale of self-discovery and getting through the toughest times imaginable. It starts and ends with violence, filling in the middle with difficult journeys, both physically and spiritually. It was certainly an unusual book in this regard, but it just made me want to read the second book even more!
The story and the characters just meshed really well. Although I’m not usually a fan of multiple narrators or so many main characters, it really worked in this story. The author was focused on all the right parts of the plot to make me interested and to keep up the pace. It started out really fast, and slowed down a little, but it was never actually slow. The pace picked up again towards the middle and end, and I really hope it continues in the next book! I highly recommend this story to any reader over the age of 13 looking for an intriguing, one-of-a-kind fantasy tale.
*Not recommended to kids ages 12 & under due to violence and some vague sexual content.