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Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes has solidified the reason why

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes has solidified the reason why I love reading so much.  To be swept away into a tale of high fantasy where magic exists, the world is diverse, and the characters are unforgettable.

From the moment I read the synopsis and saw the cover, ...
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes has solidified the reason why I love reading so much.  To be swept away into a tale of high fantasy where magic exists, the world is diverse, and the characters are unforgettable.

From the moment I read the synopsis and saw the cover, I knew that Falling Kingdoms was a story that would treasured and memorable.  When I first cracked open the book, what did I find?  A glossary…for the characters!  At first glance, I thought that “omg, what have I gotten myself into?”  My memory is not as good as it used to be, and seeing this list of characters kinda threw me off and had me a bit worried.  But don’t fret friends!  As the chapters in the story are broken down per kingdom; Auranos, Paelsia, and Limeros; you come to know rather quickly which characters come from which kingdom.

The story follows the story of specific characters in each kingdom, which melt together to provide a seamless story hope, love, triumph, hate, and magic.  In Aurano, Princess Cleo Bellos is forced into a deadly situation thanks to the arrogance and bullheaded ness of her friend/intended, Aron.  Because of Aron’s lack of brains, he unknowingly starts a revolution by the people of Paelsia and an uprising from the people of Limeros.  Silly boy and his freakin’ love for wine.  GAH!  Not only does Princess Cleo have to deal with this new turn of events, but she also tasks herself with a quest to find some magical grape seeds, which can only be received from a mythical fallen Watcher (one who is full of magic and not from this world), in order to save her sister’s life who, it seems, is dying from a broken heart.  She must travel into the kingdom of the very people who seek revenge for one of their own, and who loathe Aurano for all it has.  It is during this quest that Princes Cleo finds more than she has bargained for.

In Paelsia, Jonas Agallon, the youngest son of a meek win seller, has only one thing on his mind.  Vengeance.   To avenge the death of his older brother, which was brought about by the hands of Aurano’s royalty.  But after much thought, Jonas, along with the aide of the Chief, have started a revolution to destroy the king of Aurano, King Corvin, and his precious daughter, Princess Cleo for what happened to Jonas’ brother, and for the suffering that the people of Paelsia has gone through in the past years.   And though all he sees in front of him is hate and revenge, situations that occur opens Jonas’ eyes to the truth, and what he needs to do in order to really set his fellow people free.

In Limeros, Prince Magnus Damora is plagued by a forbidden love, and his sister, Princess Lucia is coming to terms with some unusual things that are happening to her.   With dark secrets being brought to light, and a father, King Gaius, who rules by instilling fear and spilling blood, Prince Magnus is slowing being corrupted by his father’s ways.  Without the love of the one he holds dearest, his heart turns to ice and he follows in the footsteps of his maniacal father.   Princess Lucia learns a few new truths about her and her life, and is unaware yet of how powerful a force she is, and what her role is in her prophesized existence.

As the lives of these characters intertwine in Fallen Kingdoms, this remarkable story comes to life and I needed more.  I completely devoured this story and was left hungering for the next book.  The different plot twists and turns had my head reeling in delight and couldn’t wait to see what else could possibly happen.  The characters all had their own personalities, good or bad, that readers will thoroughly enjoy.  I found myself literally rooting for the good guy, booing the bad guy, and becoming very emotional over the significance and importance of family.

What stood out in my mind?  The bad guys…and especially King Gaius.  His conniving, lying, deceitful ways had him stand out so much in my mind.  To slowly find out what he has done, or plans to do sent shivers up and down my spine, and it was HE who provided me with so many gasp worthy moments while reading Falling Kingdoms.  Definitely a force to be reckoned with.  I cannot WAIT to see what is going to happen with him in the next book.  To even see what sort of evil he has planned up his sleeve.

And don’t even get me started on the epic battle scene, you guys!  It was like 300, Gladiator, Braveheart, Beowolf all rolled into one!  It was THE most epic battle scene I have read and it will stand out in my mind.  The buildup and anticipation that led up to the beginning of the battle draws you in, and with one final battle cry, bodies collide and insanity ensues.   The descriptions of the battle itself, the sounds, the visuals, the deaths, the carnage… all of it combined left this lasting impression in me.  I could literally see this battle jump off the pages, and hear the clanging of the swords and shields, and smell the blood and sweat.  Amazing!  If there was one part in Falling Kingdoms that I would read again, it would be this battle scene…hands down!

An amazing read that fans of Kristen Cashore’s, Graceling Realm series, will devour.   If you are a lover of high fantasy, I would recommend you run out and grab a copy of Fallen Kingdoms and immerse yourself into this extraordinary world created by Morgan Rhodes.

posted by chapterxchapter on December 16, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actual


I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actually can't think of anything redeemable enough to make me finish it. My biggest problem would be the characters themselves, so let me go through them one at a time.

Cleo: When it matters the most, she doesn...

I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actually can't think of anything redeemable enough to make me finish it. My biggest problem would be the characters themselves, so let me go through them one at a time.

Cleo: When it matters the most, she doesn't have a spine. My problem with her is that she's letting one mistake govern her whole life. Sure, coming out with the truth wouldn't be easy, but keeping that mistake a secret isn't worth being married to a total scum bag. Her fiancé is just despicable and the fact that she puts up with his behavior.... Ugh. They just disgust me.

Magnus: This guy is just wrong. Sometimes it seems like he might be a good person but then he goes and thinks or does something and its ruined. Quite frankly, Magnus is another character that really just disgusts me. I mean, I know Lucia isn't actually related to him, but Magnus doesn't know that, and they grew up together as siblings. Magnus just..... ick. Plus, even though he knows what his father is doing is wrong, he's going along with it.

Lucia: She's one of the main characters but in the 180 pages I read, she's barely been in there at all and what I have seen of her hasn't been all that impressive. Lucia hasn't done anything really, so I find it amazing that I dislike her already. But her "father" is awful and is about to start a war with an equally awful (if not more so) ruler and she doesn't even care! She seems like a nice enough person but all she cares about is herself so far.

Jonas: Welcome to the only character in this entire novel who isn't despicable, because, yes, the majority of the supporting characters are also horrible. Jonas has just lost his brother because of Cleo's fiancé and is out for revenge. The revenge part doesn't bother me that much because Jonas at least was trying to live a respectable life, which has been repeatedly frustrated by people like Magnus and Cleo. I'd probably keep reading just for Jonas, but he's hardly been in it at all.

In addition to hating all but one main character, after reading almost half of the book, nothing has happened. I mean, things have happened but it doesn't feel like the story has started yet. Everything up to this point feels like Rhodes is just setting the stage. The inciting incident took place long ago, now I want the story to actually start. It hasn't.

posted by AliceGrace on October 21, 2013

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  • Posted October 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actual


    I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actually can't think of anything redeemable enough to make me finish it. My biggest problem would be the characters themselves, so let me go through them one at a time.

    Cleo: When it matters the most, she doesn't have a spine. My problem with her is that she's letting one mistake govern her whole life. Sure, coming out with the truth wouldn't be easy, but keeping that mistake a secret isn't worth being married to a total scum bag. Her fiancé is just despicable and the fact that she puts up with his behavior.... Ugh. They just disgust me.

    Magnus: This guy is just wrong. Sometimes it seems like he might be a good person but then he goes and thinks or does something and its ruined. Quite frankly, Magnus is another character that really just disgusts me. I mean, I know Lucia isn't actually related to him, but Magnus doesn't know that, and they grew up together as siblings. Magnus just..... ick. Plus, even though he knows what his father is doing is wrong, he's going along with it.

    Lucia: She's one of the main characters but in the 180 pages I read, she's barely been in there at all and what I have seen of her hasn't been all that impressive. Lucia hasn't done anything really, so I find it amazing that I dislike her already. But her "father" is awful and is about to start a war with an equally awful (if not more so) ruler and she doesn't even care! She seems like a nice enough person but all she cares about is herself so far.

    Jonas: Welcome to the only character in this entire novel who isn't despicable, because, yes, the majority of the supporting characters are also horrible. Jonas has just lost his brother because of Cleo's fiancé and is out for revenge. The revenge part doesn't bother me that much because Jonas at least was trying to live a respectable life, which has been repeatedly frustrated by people like Magnus and Cleo. I'd probably keep reading just for Jonas, but he's hardly been in it at all.

    In addition to hating all but one main character, after reading almost half of the book, nothing has happened. I mean, things have happened but it doesn't feel like the story has started yet. Everything up to this point feels like Rhodes is just setting the stage. The inciting incident took place long ago, now I want the story to actually start. It hasn't.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    The age range should be 8-12 years old. Writing is simple, chara

    The age range should be 8-12 years old. Writing is simple, characters are undeveloped. Overall, the book is just a hodgepodge of fantasy cliches that is only underscored by a bunch of weak characters. 

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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