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?
You need to know that I have been lusting after this book since I first heard about it, what seems like eons ago now. I mean, a YA story aimed at Games of Thrones fans? HELL YEAH!!! I actually ended up reading a completely legitimate A4 size manuscript of this (that’s letter size for the Americans) and I took it to work to read on night shifts. If that isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is! I looked forward to my break every night when I’d settle in for the next instalment and time would just fall away. Falling Kingdoms is an epic fantasy that can be summed up in two distinct and meaningful words: devastatingly good. That is to say that whilst it will devastate you, you’ll love every minute of reading.
In the book, there are three main kingdoms that make up Mytica, a land that actually looks a lot like the United Kingdom. There’s the icy Limeros in the North, resource poor but wine rich Palaesia in the middle and the affluent Auranos in the South. The story is told from the point of view of four different characters, representing each of the kingdoms, and as they edge toward the brink of war, their lives become intertwined. I actually wrote a bunch of stuff about the plot but then deleted it all because really, what’s the point in spoiling all the surprises for you? Just know that Morgan is not afraid to throw adversity in the face of her characters and she can be ruthless, you have been warned.
I have to say that at first, the cast of characters appeared vast and intimidating. It does take about 50 pages or so to settle into the story and understand what’s going on but it’s totally worth it. I did appreciate the map and character list/description at the beginning of the book and while I had to flip back and forth between the story and the list a few times at first, I then found that I didn’t need to. Also, here’s a little tip that helped me to remember Mytica – I memorised LPA in my head so I would remember that Limeros was in the North, Palaesia was in the middle and Auranos was in the South.
Let’s talk about the characters that make up the four viewpoints in the book...
JONAS (from Palaesia)was no more than a plot device to me at first, just a guy hell bent on avenging his brother’s death until I read on and now I know there is more to him and I’m curious to see this in future books. Jonas character subtly changes and I saw hints of a spark between him and another character who shall remain nameless but I can’t wait to see what happens with that storyline.
CLEO is the princess of Auranos, and a sister with a good heart. I’ve heard others call her whiny or spoilt but I didn’t think that at all. She may make some stupid decisions at times but it comes from a good place and she is definitely the bravest character I’ve ever known. I have no words for what happens to her other than ASFG!%^£&$%^&.
LUCIA is the princess of Limeros and a girl with a secret so big that it can’t be possibly be contained, regardless of the consequences. She’s a good girl and a dedicated sister to Magnus but I know there is more to come from her. So much more.
Last but not least is MAGNUS, the prince of Limeros and son of the merciless Blood King. He is I think my favourite character and probably because he is a tormented soul who also carries a devastating secret that will likely haunt him forever. I can’t even. All I can say is that I am hoping beyond hope that things work out for Magnus as I couldn’t bear it if it didn’t.
All in all, I can’t stop thinking about this book and I might just be a tiny bit obsessed with it LOL. I’m practically beside myself thinking that I’m going to have to wait until Autumn 2013 for the next installment although I am pleased to hear that it is part of a four book series. Morgan Rhodes is of course a pseudonym for Michelle Rowen and this is the first book of hers that I’ve read. Rest assured that this is by no means the last and she’s definitely made a fan girl out of me. This book is so epic that The CW needs to snatch this one up IMMEDIATELY and make it into a TV series or as I like to call it, INSTANT HIT.
Falling Kindgoms is one of my favourite books of 2012 and you should all go and buy it immediately. If anyone has a copy of the next book *looks at Morgan/Michelle* I’d be willing to trade a body part to read it now. Just saying.
Falling Kingdoms is published on 11th December, 2012 in the US and 3rd January, 2013 in the UK. To find out more about Morgan Rhodes and her books, please click here to visit her website (Michelle Rowen writes under the pen name of Morgan Rhodes). To find out more about Falling Kingdoms, please click here to visit the series website.