'Falling Kingdoms' book review

Title: Falling Kingdoms

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Pages: 412

Release Date: December 11, 2012

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~

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….

~ ~ ~ ~

As I’m writing this, I am overwhelmed with so many emotions (primarily anger and sadness) because I just finished this glorious novel. I have heard this book described by some as a young adult version of Game of Thrones, and those people are so right. It’s based on the youths and heirs of a society facing serious political turmoil, and it is done extremely well.

One thing I really liked about this book was the magical element. Throughout the book it’s kind of a guessing game as to how it will play out, but in the end, so many questions are answered and things begin to fall into place. From the beginning, we can tell there is a strong elemental characteristic to the magic which is always fun. I also really enjoyed the magic not being the center focus of the entire book, it was utilized and it is important to the story, but it is not the driving focus of the series’ introduction.

The characters are phenomenal. Each character is so well thought-out with their own driving purposes so none feel as if they are only fillers in the story. In this book we follow four main young adults and three adult leaders. We come to learn so much about these characters, and even when you hate them, you can’t help but feel for them. I am very excited to see the development of some minor characters in the coming books as I can very much assume will happen, as well as the development of our already main characters. I cried at the end while reading this book because I had grown to love one character so much for some reason. Everything the characters face is so heart wrenching and really adds to the story in every way you can imagine – it’s as if every single action they take plays a part in a larger plot.

There were so many plot twists and so many turns of the story that I, personally, had not expected. So many things were done completely out of character of traditional YA novels, and although a lot of it was super sad in the book, it was really refreshing. After the first few things happened that I had not expected to see, I was so scared of everything happening to the characters. I tried to brace myself, but every single time I was wrong. It was like a really enjoyable guessing game.

As for love, there isn’t much, which is actually really nice. There’s budding romances and forbidden loves, but it doesn’t drive the story or distort the character’s personalities or thoughts.

In all, everything in this novel is very balanced in a great way. I loved it, and if I could give it more than 5 stars, I would!

Let me know what you thought of this book, or if you plan on reading it!

Thanks for reading!


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