Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms Series #1)

( 68 )

Overview

The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in ...

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Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms Series #1)

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Overview

The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

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?

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  • Falling Kingdoms
    Falling Kingdoms  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Writing under a pseudonym, author Michelle Rowan (the Demon Princess series) launches a planned series with this otherworldly epic about kingdoms on the brink of war. While the corrupt rulers of three realms plot the others' overthrow, key young people—Cleo, the flighty youngest daughter of the Auranian king; Magnus, the bitter son of the cruel king of Limeros; and Jonas, an angry peasant from Palesia whose brother was murdered by an Auranian nobleman—all chafe under the restrictions placed upon them by misguided elders. Relatively few action sequences and heavy dialogue slow the pacing, yet Rhodes maps an evocative and intricate world mythology. Readers will likely relate most to the numerous dysfunctional familial, political, and romantic relationships spawning from the labyrinthine network of kingdoms. Though characters' behaviors can be mechanical at times (Cleo's tears over an arranged marriage come across as perfunctory), the novel's blend of forbidden love, unruly royals, and ancient prophecy should draw in fantasy lovers who don't mind a touch of melodrama. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Zella Cunningham
Amid the profusion of characters in this story evolves an enthralling plot that is introduced in the prologue and continues in the initial chapters. However, it is not until further into the middle chapters that the plot connections become clear. Three kingdoms—northern Limeros, southern Auranos, and middle Paelsia—are affected by the death of Paelsian winemaker Silas Agallon's eldest son at the hands of drunken Prince Aron of Auranos. Paelsia, land-locked on two sides by the other two kingdoms, is in financial decline while Auranos thrives. Benefitting from this situation is Gaius Damora, the "Blood King" of Limeros, who joins forces with King Hugo Basilius of Paelsia to take over the Auranian kingdom. Caught in the power struggle are the princes and princesses of the three kingdoms. Princess Cleiona Bellos of Auranous feels that her inaction led to the death of Tomas Agallon. Magnus Damora of Limeros is tortured by his unnatural feelings for his sister, Princess Lucia Damora, and unearths a secret that will alter the future of his family. Jonas Agallon, the youngest son of winemaker Silas Agallon, has but one goal—to exact revenge on Princess Cleiona and her father's kingdom for the death of his brother. The undercurrent to the main plot is the subtle quest to find the Sorceress who holds the key to the whereabouts of the Kindred, the four powers of elementia: wind, water, fire, and earth. The violence and the inference to incest labels this book as subject matter for young adult readers. A sequel must be forthcoming; readers will turn the last page, expecting to see more. Reviewer: Zella Cunningham
From the Publisher
"Morgan Rhodes has created a rich, living fantasy world and characters that immediately draw the reader in. This is one of those series you can't help but be obsessed with — I can't wait to see what happens next!"—RICHELLE MEAD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series

"[It] will gut you emotionally . . . make you ache, cry, and beg for the sequel as you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it.”—Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Queen

“This triple-layered tale of bloodshed, heartbreak, and tangled court intrigue kept me turning pages very late into the night.”—Lesley Livingston, author of Wondrous Strange and Starling

“From an opening dripping with blood, magic, and betrayal through complex interweaving plots detailing treachery, deceit, and forbidden love, this novel . . . will immediately engage readers and keep them intrigued.” —Booklist

“[An] otherworldly epic . . . evocative and intricate.”—Publishers Weekly

“I loved it from start to finish.”—SLJTeen

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Three kingdoms, Limeros, Auranos, and Paelsia, struggle for riches and sovereignty in this complexly wrought tale of war, rebellion, and magic. A prophecy foretells the birth of a sorceress powerful enough to rival dead goddesses, ancient legend speaks of a ring that provides mastery over the Kindred (embodiments of elemental magic), and duplicitous betrayal leads to an alliance between royalty and commoner. The sorceress emerges in the form of Lucia, the princess of Limeros, while Cleo, the princess of Auranos, obtains the ring. Young Jonas, the son of a Paelsian wineseller, puts aside vengeance and aligns with his enemy to save his homeland. Intimations of romance and sex are interspersed with scenes of brutality and magic in an often-barbaric environment that vaguely echoes George R. R. Martin. The plot is packed with incident, although constantly changing points of view weaken the dramatic arc and interrupt the forward momentum. Characterizations are fairly stock, with little to differentiate them, and the stylized fantasy language occasionally stutters over modern colloquialisms. This first volume of an intended series sets up the backstory that informs and motivates the action to come. While the shifting points of view can be distracting, the result is short, action-driven chapters that may carry readers to the finish and on to the next volume.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595145840
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Series: Falling Kingdoms Series , #1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 70,129
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series. Under another pen name, she's an award winning author of more than two dozen novels. Morgan lives in Southern Ontario, where she’s currently hard at work on the next Falling Kingdoms book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    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, 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.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    Plot related stuff The story started out with a bang! First chap

    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.

    Characters
    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! :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2013

    Well written, action packed, great story.

    Well written, action packed, great story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Highly recommend

    A captivating read that was hard to put down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    The Book that has Everything

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Wow!

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    A fantastic high fantasy with a variety of compelling and distin

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2015

    This book is amazing. It starts out a little slow but by the tim

    This book is amazing. It starts out a little slow but by the time you finish the book you are on the edge of your seat and feel the great need to have the next book. It is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a story with romance, war, struggles of power, and political conflict. This truly a very good book I would share with everyone willing to read and enjoy it to its fullest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2014

    Great book

    Great book. Can't wait to read the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2015

    Always an engaging read!!

    Hard to put down, this book will most likelynkeepnyou guessing, even when it seems you've come to an end. Dramatic and hard to put down, you'll left searching for the next book!!

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  • Posted December 21, 2014

    The hard part about the first book is that it exists mainly to i

    The hard part about the first book is that it exists mainly to introduce readers to the world and characters.  It's still a good read, but looking back on the events, they are mainly to set up the series.  For this reason, some find it a bit slow for the first half (the second is very action-packed).  The next two though, are hands-down incredible and not slow at all.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    Disappointed

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    love it.

    love it.

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  • Posted October 11, 2014

    I had a hard time with the first chapters or two, because I didn

    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!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    Great series!

    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. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    LOVE THIS SERIES

    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 excitement

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    Falling Kingdoms was pretty good, but felt a bit unrealistic whe

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. This is an absolute must read for

    OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. This is an absolute must read for any lover of dramatic novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2014

    I've never been so emotionally invested into a book before. The

    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!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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