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Posted December 16, 2012
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.
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Posted December 20, 2012
Plot related stuff
The story started out with a bang! First chapter it initiated the spark! And within 50 pages of the book the "OMG! OMG! OH! OH! OH!" moments came in. Yup. :)
The unfair kingdoms/magic/fighting/unrest is not a new idea but it is an idea what never gets old. This familiarity creates relatability. The magic reminded me of all those tales about the elements (Avatar anyone?), fate, and prophecies. The unfairness reminded me of the Ishbalans (or Ishvalans) from Full Metal Alchemists. The anger that brewed in my stomach was strong and hot. This is why I love reading, it can provide not only new worlds for me to explore but also familiarity and emotions. This familiarity is comforting. With that said, familiarity, or should I say repetitions can be bad. It is only tolerable in certain genres, and fantasy is one of them. Haha, I guess one of the reasons why I like fantasy and why I don't get annoyed by it. :p
The world building is good, not the best but good enough. I can imagine a lot of the things by myself. Morgan gave the readers rooms to explore with their own imagination. The prologue was very different - in an attractive way. I did get confused when I was a few paragraphs in. I wasn't sure what was going on until later on. But it was intriguing.
Love the characters! Cleo was perfect in every single way. She didn't stand out to be any particular type: not completely whiny, not completely rebellious, not completely strong. She can't be pinned down as one type. She has a multitude of colors and rays that developed in this character that you simply can't hate. She is not perfect, nor fake. She is marvelous.
Theon, oh wow. I love you, pure and simple. I love you. *dives into daydream* :) He is sweet, strong, protective...just *rolls around the floor from embarrassment and excitement* so perfect!
I particularly like to hate Aron. He is the type of character that lacks responsibilities, chase freedom and fun. He can be a hassle and a pain. He is the type of jerk that you want to throw frying pans at and stab with a million pencils. Yup...I swear, I am not a psychopath. That's why I like to hate him. He is full of character.
Nic was just a friend that I am looking for. He is seriously a friend you can count on and make you happy. The relationship between Nic and Cleo is...just AWESOME! There is no I-loved-you-since-forever-but-I-secretly-hid-it kind of thing. They are just amazing friends! (Kind of jelly right here :3).
Magnus has, well, I won't say depth, but there is something about him that makes me intrigued. The romance for him is sweet, tender, and soft. Like a delicate flower petal, it gently brushes the readers' hearts, well at least for me it did.
But other characters such as Jonas brought unspeakable emotions to me. My heart wanted to burst in sorrow. Morgan seemed to transform simple words into threads of magic that pulled at my emotions. Oh Paelsia, how I cry for you. Alexius had me intrigued and my heart beating from the moment I was introduced to him.
There are way too many characters to discuss separately (it might just bore you to death), but each had their uniqueness, their magic, their soul.
This book really reminded me why I love YA/MG fantasy. *sigh* :) I would recommend this to YA high fantasy lovers. If you enjoy the Storm Glass, Graceling, a clean version of Game of Throne etc., you will love this. :)
But I guess the reason why this book is not a 5/5 is that it didn't have that something that made it FLAILS-worthy. It didn't make me go crazy, running around the house screaming or shoving the book in my family's faces. It didn't have that spark of something that made me give this a perfect score. It wasn't "perfect" but it didn't deserve a 4.5, so therefore 4.75.
Ashley's Bits and Pieces
Love how there were a list of characters and their role at the front of the book. I find a lot of the time with high or epic fantasy that I lose track of people. This book had a lot of characters and this simple addition made it a lot easier on me. I just want to give my thanks to it! :)
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2012
A fantastic high fantasy with a variety of compelling and distinct narrators. A cleaner, younger alternative to Game of Thrones that will nevertheless entice readers of both YA and adult fantasy. I adored this book and cannot wait for the sequel! Fantastic!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2013
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 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 20, 2013
Posted August 27, 2013
Posted May 21, 2013
This book was incredible and everything I want from a story, romance, danger, politics, plot twists, fantasy, and so much more. It kept me on edge and I couldn't stop reading it, so i pretty much finished it in one night. I am so excited for the next one!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2013
This book was truly amazing! Action packed, suspensful, and heart breaking, Falling Kingdoms will leave you on the edge of your seat and begging for more!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2014
I had heard great things about this book and began reading it with high hopes- after all, this book was hailed as the YA version of "Game of Thrones"!
I think my biggest problem was the character development. The book is written from the persecutive of 3 main characters. While the male characters were written well, I thought Princess Cleo got left behind. I didn't get the sense that Cleo was a particularly shallow character, and yet, she would get so overwhelmed with her feelings, that she couldn't actually complete the task at hand- ***SPOILER ALERT**** I got incredibly frustrated when there would be an exciting chase scene filled with combat, when all of the sudden, Cleo had to stop in the middle of being chased and talk about her feelings..?? By the end, this book just got too predictable.
I will say that the story-line was interesting enough that I actually finished the book, but I will not be buying anymore books in this series.
Posted October 31, 2014
Posted October 11, 2014
I had a hard time with the first chapters or two, because I didn't like the characters we followed in them... But once we got past that I was sucked in and haven't been let go of yet. I only wish the third book was out!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2014
Im in the process of reading book 2, but I really loved this book. Its a nice change of pace from divergent, twilight and hunger games books. If you like fantasy and adventure then this is a great series to read. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 17, 2014
waitingnow for the third book to release. Love the series I guess you could say its got a game lf thrones feel maybe thats why I love it . Good little romance and excitementWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2014
Falling Kingdoms was pretty good, but felt a bit unrealistic when it came to Cleo's sudden love for Theon. It seemed to happen in the span of a conversation and only after being saddled with him as her guard what felt like mere pages before. In addition, the characters were pretty good, but by the end of the novel hadn't developed enough. However, setting those bits aside, I was able to enjoy book one. It's entertaining, and the climactic rise was very thrilling. The ending just left a lot to the next novel. By then most characters were certainly downtrodden. I enjoyed it enough to read the sequel. I expect it will be much more uplifting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2014
Posted April 29, 2014
I've never been so emotionally invested into a book before. The characters are absolutely extraordinary and I fell in love with every single one, I never wanted to put the book down! The romance, plot twists, and everything was great. I recommend to anyone who is reading this to purchase the book!
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Posted December 23, 2013
More of a 2 and 1/2 really. I had mixed feelings.
This book had all the elements that I normally like.
1. The magic in the world was interesting. I like when there is a magic system that not only had benefits, but at least shows there is a cost of the magic as well. The concept of the witches is good. They can perform magic, but it involves a sacrifice of blood and takes a lot of out them. It takes as much as it gives. The introduction of the other magic with the sorcerers kind of muddled it a bit, but overall it was good. I also enjoyed the twist in the story of how the 2 goddesses come to be. It is always interesting to see how stories are changed for the purpose of worship. Myths and legends are born that may not be even close to the truth.
2. The world building was simple, that had it problems because at time it was a bit too simplistic, but I thought overall that the 3 lands and the differences between them, political issues shown well and gave me enough information for me to get an idea of the motivation of the people and what drove them to certain actions. It helped that as the book progressed, more and more was revealed about the 3 lands and the mythology. That gave the lands and history a bit more richness.
3. The enjoyed the over all plot of the story: one foolish event caused by carelessness and hubris is used as an excuse to launch a bigger, and even more destructive action. War, pursuit of more and more power, and world domination...and the people who are used in the pursuit of these goals. In that way it was similar to Game of Thrones as the blurb says, but it is no Game of Thrones
1. The characters, to me, were too flat and one dimensional...with one exception: Magnus Damora. I found this character to be the most compelling. He was a mixture of vulnerability and fear; hate and love and he is constantly in battle with himself between his lighter and darker selves. I enjoyed him. But the rest of the characters were just too predictable and flat.
Cleo: the spunky Princess that does what she wants. She spends most of the book bumbling her way into tragedy and I am supposed to like it and do in a way, but mostly I just find her predictable. Just like the fact that every male character is in love with her is boring and predictable. Many suffer from lack of development and motivation because they are just devices for her. I complain when female characters suffer this fate for the male lead....so I will complain for the males as well. It's just bad form.
Theon: his story line line with Cleo had a lot of potential, but I felt like it was not developed at all and just rushed. By the time it reaches the climax it seems to come from nowhere and make their scenes just lack emotion. I felt nothing. I like to see the relationships between characters develop; this way I at least have an understanding of what they see in each other, what draws them towards each other. I felt like Theon was just a plot device to further Cleo's and what looks to be another character's story line later in the story. Which one is hard to tell by the end of the book.
But rather than go through my problems with every character the overall complaint is that they were too rushed, too one dimensional and due to that I could not really "feel" them. It's the only way I can say it. So I could not invest fully in the narrative.
So lots of potential....just a bit short of it.
Posted December 22, 2013
Posted December 11, 2013
Posted November 18, 2013