Sunday, 10 February 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Received for review
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141346159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141346151

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?

Cover:  I'm a big fan of this cover.  Love gray colour scheme, the cloak, hawk and castle in the background.

What can I say about this book?
I freaking loved it.  I devoured it.
 It's going to be difficult to stop this review turning into a rave.
Falling Kingdoms is a fast-paced, thrilling fantasy that left me totally breathless.  I could not put this book down.
The world building was incredible, I had no trouble picturing the world of Mytica and the three different kingdoms within it.  Also, we get several characters perspectives, and sometimes with fantasy books I find myself getting confused, characters getting blurred.  But not with this one.  All the characters were distinctive.  I always knew who was narrating.
Choose a side?
How can I?  I love everyone!  Normally I have no trouble picking a 'team' to support...but I really can't decide who to root for.  One minute I think Jonas is right, the next I think Cleo.  One minute I love Magnus, the next I hate him.  We have a set of complex characters, that you could understand and empathise with, so how do you choose you want to win?  As a reader, you're put through an emotional wringer, and it's amazing.
I also loved that Morgan Rhodes wasn't afraid to challenge her characters.  Some of them really go through it.  And I have to say, there were several surprises that left me in pieces because I became so invested in those characters.  
So much happens in this book.  Sometimes the first in a series can simply be build up for the books to come, and while this book has left so much open for the sequel (I need it like...yesterday!) it wasn't lacking in any sense.  It was action packed.  So many plots within plots that I was hooked immediately.
This is my best book of the year so far.  I recommend this to absolutely everyone.
Without a doubt- 5.5 stars!

Doubly recommend for fans of Maria V. Snyder, Sarah J. Maas or George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones (or if you want to read it but are too intimidated, this will encourage you)

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