Falling Kingdoms

Morgan Rhodes
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? "Falling Kingdoms will gut you emotionally. It will make you ache, cry, and beg for the sequel as you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it." —Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Queen "This triple-layered tale of bloodshed, heartbreak, and tangled court intrigue kept me turning pages very late into the night." —Lesley Livingston, award-winning author of Wondrous Strange


Reviewed: 2017-12-07
It's the end of the year... I'm halfway through this book and still nothing has happened and I don't like the characters and I'm about to get a massive infodump of world building. I think I'll just stop here.
I'm SUPER bummed because I'm always looking for more awesome fantasy books and I felt like this one had so much potential but honestly nothing was coming together. One of the main reasons I always choose to DNF is when the plot is slow and nothing is happening. Here's what's happened in Falling Kingdoms halfway through: The one thing that sets the plot in motion in the beginning, lots of characters contemplating their romantic feelings. Then one character making a hasty, dangerous, and immature decision to go save a family member. That's it.
Don't get me wrong -- plot doesn't always have to RACE for me to enjoy a book, but when there's no world building or character development during that time either, the book is taking me nowhere.
The characters are all incredibly shallow. Cleo is young and she acts like it and I really didn't get along with her character at all. Yes, teenage characters are allowed to act like teenagers but her rash decisions were driving me nuts and she really did seem a bit spoiled. The kings are all just awful and none of the authority figures feel developed so I just felt like these countries were being run on a whim instead of having actual leaders. Theon was probably the character I liked the most at this point but because he was the strong, silent type.
All of these characters have the most bizarre romantic relationships. From a brother who is in love with his sister (don't worry, I don't think they're REALLY related but it's halfway through the book and he still thinks they are so that's just gross), to a girl who was in love with another character's FATHER, to a king with a magical mistress, to a princess who's engaged to an awful prince because she slept with him when drunk and he's keeping that a secret... I mean... they all just feel like awful people. Yes, yes, I understand that not all relationships are cookie-cutter happy and easy -- that's not what I'm saying. Like can't ONE relationship be a nice crush on someone and it develops there? What's with all the things that make me uncomfortable? I was also incredibly frustrated that everyone's motives seemed to be romantically driven up until Cleo decided to help her sister. Everyone was making choices based on their love life and I was frustrated that there was no leadership, no plans for the country, no strategy, no family love. There was a bit here and there but it felt very soap opera-y.
I was also sorely disappointed with the lack of world building. The spot that I decided to stop at was just about to explain a whole backstory of how the magic worked but it was too much information all at once. This could have easily been distributed among the first 200 pages instead of coming at the readers in the form of an old woman telling a story. That's fine to give some backstory but I was too in the dark about the magic and then it's like BAM, all the knowledge at once.
I mainly decided not to finish because at this point, I had already decided that even if I did complete the book, I wasn't going to continue on with the six book series. If I wasn't going to read the other five books, why spend the time to finish the first?
Reviewed: 2015-02-11
Three words. Fast. Paced. Fantasy. Also Epic.
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