Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Published: December 2012
Summary: Mytica is divided into three vastly different kingdoms who have managed to live in peace for a long time. The northernmost kingdom is Limeros, a kingdom ruled by the King of Blood, a dictator-style reign where we follow Prince Magnus and his tormented life. The southernmost kingdom is Auranos, the richest and most comfortable kingdom ruled by a King who has enjoyed peace and prosperity where we follow Princess Cleo. Princess Cleo is on the brink of becoming betrothed to a man she hates and she is constantly at odds with her royal lifestyle given her stubborn and wild nature. Sandwiched between these two kingdoms is Paelsia, a poor and growing poorer kingdom ruled by a so-called sorcerer Chief who is said to be able to save them all. Here we follow Jonas, the son of a wine seller who is not ready to settle into this oppressed life. We follow each of these characters as their kingdoms move closer and closer to war.
Thoughts: I learned about this book from my favorite Booktube Channel, Peruse Project. I don’t always totally agree with the channel’s host, Regan, and often find her too easy to please, but there was something about the description of this book and her passion for it that made it impossible for me to pass. I pulled it out of my TBR jar, opened the cover, and was more or less instantly drawn in. This book was so, so good! I hate to compare it to the iconic Game of Thrones, but there were so many elements that reminded me of that series. This is like the YA version of Game of Thrones. It is about battling for control over the land. There are multiple perspectives, all of whom you want to root for even though they are at odds with other perspectives that you like. No one is safe–no one. People are killed off like Morgan Rhodes just don’t care–reminiscent of George R.R. Martin. It’s hard to determine good and evil, it’s all about the shades of grey as you learn about each character and how they became the way they are.
This book is action-packed and full of twists and turns. The world that Rhodes builds is interesting and complex. The characters are strong and flawed, again, making it hard for you to decide who is in the right and you want to win. Prince Magnus is a brooding, misunderstood character who has been abused by his father and really only loves one person in this world, his sister Lucia. You can’t help but feel for him, even when he makes some bad decisions. Princess Cleo is my favorite character at this point. She is fiercely devoted to those she loves and will do anything to protect them. She names what she wants and does anything to get it. Sometimes that mindset gets her in a pickle and you are angry that she was so stubborn, but then again you can’t help but admire her strength. Jonas is a classic revolutionary. He has the most dramatic development in this book as he realizes that the politics of this world are not always straight forward. He is passionate and driven, but he is also capable of evaluating his beliefs. There are more characters that you meet, some of whom get the chance to narrate, but those three are the main characters and the ones I grew most attached to.
While I was in the middle of reading this book, I knew it was going to be a series I would go all in on, so I went ahead and ordered the next one–boy am I glad I did that. The ending of this book made me clamor to open the next one immediately (thank you Amazon prime!). So much happens in this first book and it tees up the next book so perfectly. I am dying to see what happens next. I hope that the series continues to be as good as this first book. There are 5 currently out in the series and a 6th one being released this month. I’m trying not to read too much about this series because I don’t want any spoilers, so I’m not sure how many books are planned for it. Guys, it’s just so good. If you are into fantasy at all, give this book a read.