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Falling Kingdoms; a fantasy novel to read by Morgan Rhodes

Friday, January 04, 2013 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

Before I read Falling Kindgoms, I expected a book with many characters and many lands, all of them confusing me. This was largely due to the introduction, where I gathered that this story would be told from multiple perspectives.

'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 have read books with multiple POV's before and they just didn't work out for me. There was just so much background to remember about characters.However this book was so definitely different. 'Falling Kingdoms' was quite the engaging tale for me, and I found myself able to keep up with the story and not have to flip back to recap on what had happened the previous POV to understand what was currently happening.

Part of what enchanted me so much with this novel was the heartfelt scenes in it. The one scene where Jonas has to comfort a boy dying had me almost bawling my eyes out. Rhodes's writing is just so heartfelt, the way that she describes each scene and what happens next. She takes us on a journey and doesn't tell us what happens; rather she shows us what happens and leaves us to make our own conclusions. For example, she wrote 'The boy smiled, but then the expression faded away and his eyes glazed over.' Everyone who reads that sentence knows the boy has passed on. However, instead of bluntly saying that he died, Rhodes gives this minor character depth and makes us feel sad that he has passed on.

The characters were annoying at times for me, as I couldn't sympathise with them. Their personalities were just not the types for me to sympathise with. Cleo seemed to be too headstrong, too willing to break the rules. She acts, then thinks about the consequences later. Being a person who thinks things out before I follow any action, Cleo was hard for me to sympathise with. I had the same problem with Jonas. He didn't think about what the consequences of his actions. Lucia seemed too willing to follow her father's orders and unable to think for herself. Towards the end of the novel, she also seemed quite selfish, using magic in the war for her father's benefit, just to get the war over and done with so that she could go home soon. Out of all the characters, I sympathised with Magnus most because he was loyal, but not to the point where he just blindlessly followed orders without thinking for himself. Despite my inability to sympathise with most of these characters, I was happy that Rhodes kept all these characters in persona. I didn't have to suffer through having a character act differently to their personality.

One thing that irritated me about this novel was that magic was referred to as 'elementia'. It sounded too fake and unorginal for me. It also didn't flow well with the rest of the story, in my opinion.

I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was one of the most heartfelt books I'd read and I will be anticipating the sequel, 'Rebel Spring' with much enthusiasm. Seriosuly, people, get this book. Once you start reading this book, you definitely will not be able to rest until you have finished all of it.

Keep reading and loving books,


(I got a copy of this novel on Netgalley in return for an honest review)

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