Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms #1
     "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."

I love this series already. I won this book about a year  ago, my very first Goodreads win. I read it back then, this is a review biased on memory and a quick skim/re-read.
All the characters are interesting and different. And with so many starring characters it would be easy to make them have parallels. Yet none of these do.

We have Cleiona, a princess who has a kind heart and a good head on her shoulders. Her father is King Corvin, ruler of the prosperous southern country Auranos. Cleo has a secret that she is ashamed to let out. A night of drunkenness that led to an indiscretion with her intended. Though she was meant to marry him, she is ashamed and doesn't really even like the guy that much. Aron the bastard son of a Lord. He's kind of a twat if I'm going to be honest, a bit poncy, kind of like Joffery from Game of Thrones. It is easy to hate this guy. Then there's Magnus, the prince of the decaying northern country Limeros, his father hates the King of the south, these reasons are somewhat unclear. Jealousy perhaps? Might just be that King Gaius is a dick. Magnus has the hots for his sister, Lucia, I don't know what it is with authors and incest these days. Lucia is actually a kidnapped child adopted as King Gauis's daughter. Magnus doesn't find this out 'til near the end of the book, so his feelings towards her are pretty creepy. Then we have Jonas, the son of a wine merchant. He lives in the decayed country sandwiched between the two countries, Paelsia. He is set on vengeance against the southern country. Hates the royal family, and hates Princess Cleo. His story is fueled by injustice. The leader of his country is more barbaric than the other kings. He fancy's himself a sorcerer, and that is how he maintains ruler-ship over his people. There are a handful of other characters that have yet to make a large impact on the story.

The story starts out really strong with a very engaging prologue. Granted there are some small parts that lag a bit. This book is more than just a setup of characters, and a who's who kind of book. There is far more that goes on in this story than you'd expect from a first book. It is very well written, and apart from the small spots that I got impatient with, the story flows really well. I was excited and eager to read the sequel directly after finishing this book. This book is filled with action, some romance, betrayal, heartbreak. (There is one particular scene when I cried. Right in the feels). There is also a good dose of magic, mystery, and murder in this book. With how this book ends, you will be excited to read the sequel and the needing to know what happens. There are so many possible outcomes and turns the story can make. If you like stories about magic, murder, and mystery. Then this is a series for you. And with two books out and two more one the way, this promises to be one of the best YA-high fantasy series of the generation.

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