The Falling Kingdoms (Books 1-3) by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms is a fantasy book series for young adults by Morgan Rhodes.It follows the lives of four teenagers, Princess Cleo, Prince Magnus, Princess Lucia, and Jonas (the wine sellers son) as they, and others, navigate through increasingly dangerous political, personal and mythical situations. This review will focus on the first three books in the series – Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness. I will be reviewing the latter three books in a future review.

While I enjoyed Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering DarknessI am sad to say that overall,  I found them to be lacking. The character development felt quite forced and artificial, the relationships so “black and white”, so clear-cut that they too felt forcefully constructed, and the world-building was really just lacking – sometimes it was there, and other times Rhodes seemed to just forget about it.

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Falling Kingdoms (Book 1) 

“War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.”

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen. The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything. Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making. Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Falling Kingdoms was definitely an interesting book, but unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to love it, for several reasons. First off, this book is perhaps the best example of my earlier statement regarding character development feeling quite forced and artificial. In fact, it was less character development, and more a character suddenly morphing into a completely new person after one singular event – Jonas, Cleo and Magnus are all exemplary examples of this flaw. By comparison, Lucia’s character development felt much more holistic and natural, leaving me quite disappointed that she wasn’t featured very heavily in Falling Kingdoms.

Secondly, the world-building in this one was just all over the place – characters seemed to teleport from one location to another, and then other times travel took a more reasonable amount of time, leaving me quite confused about the actual size of Mytica.

Finally, and this is perhaps my biggest qualm with Falling Kingdoms, the writing simply felt childish. Often, the vocabulary used felt more suited to a middle grade novel than YA. Moreover, the plot development was similarly childish, building for far too long, with a disappointing climax and conclusion, leaving the reader feeling cheated. Overall, this was not a fantastic book, but I maintain high hopes for the rest of the series (2/5).

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August 2017 Reading List

So here it is – another month of trying to tackle (and overcome) my forever growing To Be Read pile. For every book I finish, it seems like a new one just … appears (I swear, I’ve barely bought any new books this summer!).

So, what will I be reading this month?

Well, after a crazily busy July, I have a lot of catching up to do; I am setting some more reasonable reading goals for myself, and hoping that the few weeks that I do have off in August can be used for some quality reading time! That being said, much of this list may look similar to my recent TBR’s, but there’s some new books on here as well!

  1. Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh (June 13, 2017)
  2. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers (June 13, 2017)
  3. Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (May 4th, 2017)
  4. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (July 25th, 2017)
  5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (December 11th, 2012)
  6. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (August 29th, 2017)
  7. Wicked Liked A Wildfire by Lana Popovic (August 15, 2017)

 

So, what will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

July 2017 To Be Read List

Let me start this off by first saying – Happy 150th Birthday Canada! Today, many Canadian bookworms, such as myself, are out and about celebrating the “birth” of our home nation. So what are we celebrating up here in the Great White North, you ask? The year 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation – what many consider to be the official creation of the Dominion of Canada. And while we celebrate this milestone, it is also important to remember that for many Indigenous people (and non-Indigenous people, too), Canada exists on stolen land. While multiple First Nations have treaty agreements with Canada, others do not; there are unceded territories, and broken treaties too. It’s your birthday, Canada, so make a wish. And make it count!

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So, what will I be reading this month?

Well, after a crazily busy June, I have a lot of catching up to do; I’m hoping that a more consistent work schedule will help me keep more up to date with my TBR and my blog posting schedule, but only time will tell! I am especially behind when it comes to reading books I received for my birthday! That being said, much of this list may look similar to my June TBR, but there’s some new books on here as well!

  1. Now I Rise by Kiersten White (June 27, 2017)
  2. Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh (June 13, 2017)
  3. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (May 30, 2017)
  4. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers (June 13, 2017)
  5. Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee and edited by Christopher Tolkien (June 1, 2017)
  6. Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (June 6th, 2017)
  7. Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (May 4th, 2017)
  8. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (July 25th, 2017)
  9. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (July 18, 2017)
  10. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (December 11th, 2012)

So, what will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments!