One of the very few books that I’ve read this month was Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. Here are my thoughts on the book.
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
This book was in some ways not what I was expecting but in others, exactly what I was expecting. But first of all, let’s talk characters. You follow four main characters in this book. A princess (Cleo), a rebel (Jonas), a sorceress (Lucia) and an heir (Magnus) and the story is about how their individual stories tie in together as countries fight for power. My favourite character was definitely Cleo. While at times quite naïve and annoying, she has a pure heart and strives to do what she believes to be right. I could understand her and her decisions. Jonas grew on me as the story progressed. He grew from a foolish, head-strong person to someone who actually justified their decisions, I ended up quite enjoying his point of view towards the end whereas before I had not been quite so enthusiastic. Magnus was perhaps the most interesting of the characters. Firstly, he has incestuous thoughts of his own sister which took me quite by surprise. But my main issue with Magnus was his lack of individuality, he just let everyone tell him what to do and to believe. I hope he grows as the series continues. Lastly, Lucia. We only get two or three chapters from her point of view, but the ones we do get we’re very entertaining. She is the main source of magic in this book and I loved how she grew with it. Similarly to Magnus, she was quite weak and allowed herself to be used but nevertheless in the end proved herself to be a lot more than she seems. I’m very intrigued for her next storyline.
Now to the plot. I thought the pacing was fantastic, everything progressed smoothly and the alternating chapters interweaved perfectly. This book is marketed as a ‘teen A Game of Thrones’ and I could definitely see why. I felt as though the plot was too similar to George R.R. Martin’s series. Besides from the obvious grappling kingdoms story there were similar ‘twists’ that I saw coming because of A Game Of Thrones which ultimately made me enjoy this book a little less. However the parts of the plot that were original were very enjoyable. My favourite would have to be the magic. I loved it! An initial prologue sets up the magic world seamlessly and through the book we see how magic affects the kingdom and the main character who possesses it. It’s based on the elements which I thought was very cool (who didn’t love Avatar: The Last Airbender?). Another thing that I found myself really getting into was the religion. I myself am not religious, and hate when books push it on you, but in Falling Kingdoms I thought it was very interesting and something I didn’t mind exploring.
The world building was good, it could have been better, but I understand that it is a six book series and there’s plenty of time for more development. And we do get the basic gist of the three different kingdoms, their values, geographical features and squibbles with other kingdoms. This was well done, I hope we get more of a history or major change(?) in the sequels. I also want more on the Watchers and Kindred religious/divine aspects as I was left very confused about them when finishing this book. I hope they are further explained.
Morgan Rhodes’ writing was strong, easy to understand and had passages that were especially lovely. There was nothing amazing or particularly special about it, but I don’t expect every book to be so.
Overall, if you’re a fantasy or A Game Of Thrones lover, one for kingdoms and struggling for power plot lines, then you should give this one a go. I gave it:
If you’ve read Falling Kingdoms, what were your thoughts on it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Do you want to pick it up? Let me know any thoughts down in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll talk to you in my next post! (Also, thanks for being patient with me these past weeks 🙂