Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Michelle Rowen

As the sequel, Rebel Spring, is about to come out December 3rd, I thought I’d post about one of my favorite surprisingly-awesome reads of this year.

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Title: Falling Kingdoms

Author: Morgan Rhodes and Michelle Rowen

Published: December 11th 2012 by Razorbill

Official Blurb:

The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens

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?

POV: Third person from the three main characters perspectives: Cloe, Jonas, Magnus and a little bit from the perspective of Lucia. A couple other perspectives are visited for short sections.

Review: Okay, So, I’ve had a little bitty hole in my heart since Cinda Williams Chima was cruel enough to complete her Seven Realms series, ever present, causing me pain. Nothing really filled it. Until now.

I was a little worried about reading this series, I don’t want to sound like a d-bag but a 3.8 GR rating usually makes me go…hmmmm…especially since some of the reviews of reviewers I follow weren’t optimistic. Also the tag line:”Game of Thrones for teens” sounded a little iffy to me.

But my goodness, I am so glad I bought it!!! It is probably one of two of my favorite YA reads of 2013…

Seriously, more than just the cover is fantastic, it’s an amazing fantasy story told from three sides of a war, all people you can relate with, though they’re really different and mostly in opposition to each other.

The story is basically that the princess of a rich oppressive country is present for and witnesses a murder in another, poorer country, this event becomes the “call to arms” for two poorer countries in a dying land. Each of the main characters are someone pivotal to their country and play an essential role in this conflict.

What I really loved about this book were the characters, though the book was steeped in magic and intrigue, the personalities of the characters really drove the plot. I love Cloe and Jonas, both believably products of their very different upbringings and yet strong and independent characters all on their own. I loved the scenes they were together for (I wish there were more of them). Magnus was a bit despicable to me, cowardly, self-focused, cold, but also complex and relatable in many ways–so much so that I wanted him to get a little happily ever after (not with who he’s pining for, but with someone).

The world building, while not extremely complex, was enough to keep me enthralled. I was a little surprised by the violence, but I guess I shouldn’t have been since it is (allegedly) “Game of Thrones for teens”–but it wasn’t violent to the point of being overdone- several descriptive murders and some mention of torture.

The romances I found a bit lacking in luster—not so much the focus as much as a plot device—but that didn’t really bother me as all the other parts of this book we’re so fantastic (there was some serious tension going on between Cleo and Jonas that I really hope is explored in book two).

Basically, as someone who LOVES YA fantasy, I’m sold on this series, can’t wait for book two out December 3rd!!!

Loved it, absolutely, loved it!

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