Leaves the Reader Hungry for More | Review of ‘Falling Kingdoms’ (Falling Kingdoms #1)

By Cynthia Ayala

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Image Credit: Goodreads

“In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface. As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed…and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love. It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Published December 11, 2012, by Razorbill Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes is the first in her YA fantasy series where magic meets power between kingdoms.

Falling Kingdoms has drawn a comparison to Game of Thrones. And if you pick up this series based on that alone well I have a few words for you: you will not be disappointed.

There is a complexity similar to the aforementioned novel regarding the world building of the story. There is one land with three kingdoms within it, three kingdoms that want to rule over everything. Sound familiar? I hope it does. But anyway, you have a story where the land is in turmoil, where being bloodthirsty is part of growing up and magic was a long-lost ability thought to be a fable. There’s a richness to the story even though it doesn’t appear to be a fresh one. There is a certain lack of creativity and freshness about the story, but the talent of the storytelling itself, the narratives and world building, they keep the reader entertained and hooked.

The story offers up a complex narrative where the story goes between various characters all of which have such different lives and voices. There are no purely good characters in this novel, nothing is black or white for the main characters as they each strove to make the world better for the people around them. It doesn’t excuse their actions but it makes them three-dimensional characters, they have depth and strength to them. And that’s what the story focuses on. We have characters who the reader gets to know. Their richness keeps the story going, who they are, their secrets, their hate, their passions, all of those aspects make the characters unique and powerful to follow on this adventure.

Moreover, the story itself is a focused one. The author had an idea and she created such pivotal moments to see the story unfold in a captivating and easy to follow way. If Game of Thrones is too complex this novel offers up an easier to follow version of it. It doesn’t give everyone their own perspective, only the important people, giving the story a solid definition, without losing the reader. It has a beginning, middle, and end, all of which flow together effortlessly. Rhodes uses those classic fantasy tropes to set up her story, but she still manages to steer clear of clichés while working those tropes in her own imaginative way.

At the end of the day, this novel will leave the reader eager to see what the hell is going to happen next. And that’s a good thing. (★★★★☆ | A-)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2012

Page count: 412pp

Age Range: 15 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-5951-4584-0

Publisher: Razorbill

List Price:  $18.99

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