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?
What a ride this book has given me! As has become my practice these days, I did not refresh my memory on the book’s description before diving in. I trust that I was interested enough to acquire the book, so I open the book and go! While that works well for some books, in this case, I think it might have helped me with Falling Kingdoms. The first several chapters all focus on different people in different kingdoms and I was feeling quite lost, which was disappointing. However, as soon as things started circling back around to characters I’d been introduced to, I settled in more comfortably.
As I got to know each character better, I began really rooting for some more than others, even though I could clearly see each one’s point of view. There is a lot going on in Falling Kingdoms, but each main character is very thoroughly fleshed out, with his or her own strengths, flaws, and vices. Morgan Rhodes is adept at making each character real; even the side characters felt like real people to me, and it really helped me to immerse myself into this world and its many struggles.
I was fascinated by the amount of political intrigue in this book. I always think that politics are boring, but I guess in fantasy novels politics are super interesting! The depth in this book was surprising and very welcome. I like that we get to see so many different sides of the conflict because it makes it much harder to take sides! Being an outside observer in a world like this was a truly fascinating experience, and I found it difficult to decide whose viewpoints were most “right” a lot of the time.
I have two complaints about this book, and they’re both pretty minor. First, I really wanted to see more of Lucia. As the only one with magical abilities, she was one of the most interesting, and of course I wanted to know more of how she thought and felt about the things that were happening to her and around her. Maybe in the next book(s)? Second, the romance that arises for Cleo just felt a little to quick for me. I mean, I could see that a romance was budding, and I was looking forward to watching them slowly realize their feelings for each other. But then all of a sudden it was like BAM, I love you, I love you too, instantly intense. I just wish it was a bit smoother, I guess.
All in all, I freaking devoured Falling Kingdoms. I read it way faster than I expected to, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it and telling my husband how interesting it is! Falling Kingdoms is highly recommended for fans of fantasy and political intrigue. I absolutely can’t WAIT (is December here yet?) for the next book.