Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms Series #1)

( 57 )

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
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: Razorbill
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Series: Falling Kingdoms Series , #1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 106,492
  • 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 pen name for a popular author of urban fantasy. This is her first high fantasy novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 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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  • 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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  • 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 3 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.

    1 out of 1 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.

    1 out of 1 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!

    1 out of 1 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!

    1 out of 1 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! :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Mixed feelings

    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

    But:

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Bloooop

    This book was so awesome! I loved this book! The 2nd is awesome too! I cant wait till the 3rd!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Cant wait

    I cant wait ro read this book! Ive been waiting for this book to come out in the bookstore for months

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Wonderful

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    In the age of multi-tasking, sitting down to relax and read is a

    In the age of multi-tasking, sitting down to relax and read is an endorphin rush much like I experience shortly after a Lindt Lindor truffle explodes across the back of my palate. However, that heady endorphin high quickly recedes into an adrenaline blast of terror when I discover that the opening page is a compendium of information that keeps tabs on who is who, where is where, and good-god can I just start reading, please? However, once I started this high fantasy by Morgan Rhodes, I luckily found myself engaged and lost to an action-packed story, only occasionally stopping to go, “Wait. What? Who the hell is that?” then flipping to the front for a quick refresher course in the genealogy of Mythica, the land created by Rhodes.
    Said land is divided into three kingdoms and of course, war and intrigue is a’ coming. The multiple young characters are versatile in their quirks, qualities and genders, and I had fun chasing them around the countryside as their kingdoms fell apart. The setting/era was similar to titles such as Throne of Glass and Grave Mercy, but young female assassins weren’t woven into the fabric of this particular tale. There was still plenty of love, blood, and mayhem, though, to keep me occupied. 
    Considering the story was fantasy, I appreciated the fact that it didn’t delve into a long, boring outline of some new religion; the focus stayed on the characters. However, I think the belief system will probably be tackled in the next installment, Rebel Spring which arrives in book stores December 3, 2013. The only stumble I noticed in the writing was the author bouncing back and forth between modern phrasing and the old, stilted language of yore. Hopefully that, and a simpler character key in the front, will accompany the sequel, hence, keeping my endorphin levels exactly where they should be—on a chocolate high.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    READ THIS BOOK

    I... I just.... Uuuggghhhhhhhhhhhh. I love it. Why do I have to wait til Decembeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. *cries* seriously tho. One if the best books I've read.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Falling Kingdoms - Fantasy Series

    I enjoyed this one and am definitely looking forward to the next book.

    I was a bit intimidated at first - any book that immediately introduces 40 characters worries me. The main characters are threaded throughout the book with rotating chapters for each. This book has a fair amount of action, definitely a lot of death and some magic.

    Cleo is the princess of Auranos and I will admit that I found her a bit annoying at first. Despite the fact that there was an insta-love situation - I was happy to see her character grow throughout the story and by the end I was behind her 100%. I am hoping that she comes through and shows some more of the strength that showed up at the end of the book. Her life is completely turned upside down from where it began and I see her playing a critical role in the search for The Kindred.

    Jonas was a character I struggled with. I wanted to like him - I felt bad for him and his situation but he was so full of hate and anger....and not necessarily with the right people. Again, by the end of the story, I was happy to see the change in his feelings toward Cleo and am looking forward to seeing what he does in the next book.

    Magnus and Lucia was where most of the story was invested. I don't want to give anything away here but the book spends a lot of time on these characters because of who they are and how their story intertwines with everyone else. It was an interesting arc to the story from all aspects. There were times I felt sorry for Magnus and other times where I just wanted to shake him. Lucia, though critical to the story, didn't seem to go anywhere for me.

    Overall this was a good book and I enjoyed the story. I look forward to the next book and finding out what happens for each of these characters. I am also very interested in finding out what the future holds for each of the kingdoms.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Amazing!

    This book was so amazing I could barley put it down! Read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Wow

    What! The one problem with this book is... I have to wait for the next book, its going to be a long few weeks of waiting to see what happens next! Great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Great

    Really keeps u on the edge of your seat great book

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