An Amazing Sequel | Review of ‘Rebel Spring’ (Falling Kingdoms #2)

By Cynthia Ayala

“Auranos has been conquered and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But alluring, dangerous magic still beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world. And when Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will forever change the face of this land.” —Goodreads

Published December 3, 2013, by Razorbill, Rebel Spring is the second in the bestselling series by Morgan Rhodes that combines political intrigue with magic and fantasy.

What a great sequel. Rhodes is an excellent writer creating a compelling story for the reader. It picks up where the last novel left off with the Rebel faction being formed by Jonas, Cleo being used as a pawn for the King of Blood who has taken over her kingdom and pretty much killed everyone she has ever loved. Not only that but (SPOILER ALERT!) he then engages her to his son Magnus, the ultimate brood. Of course, while much of this is happening, Lucia is still unconscious, and finally, the reader gets to meet Alexius. So slowly Rhodes is finding a way to make sure that in some way these characters come together for the ultimate end, whatever that may be. And through this, the reader really gets to see the characters develop.

Now with a story that employs many tropes — royal politics, fight for power/throne, magic rising from the ashes, and rebellion — it’s not a unique story. These are elements prevalent in the fantasy genre, not all but many, just look at Dragonlance or A Song of Ice and Fire. These are familiar tropes used either together or paired up differently in many ways to tell a story, especially in the realm of fantasy. That being said, it’s the way the author employs those elements that makes the story either unusual or redundant dribble. Rhodes is part of the former. She’s such an excellent writer and the added feature of the Watchers, these immortals who are essentially dying without the magic in the world “beneath” them. It’s a brilliant way to breathe life into the story and add another level of storytelling that is only aware to the readers and not the characters. The tension it creates is fantastic because of that clash or worlds, it’s what going to be climactic, (we hope) and that is what drives the reader to keep reading.

Little by little Rhodes explores the worlds and expands upon them and the characters. She could spend a bit more detail and time on the world around her, but instead, she shifts the focus to that of the characters. Now, there is some predictability regarding the dynamics of the characters, the reader is already going to be able to see where some of these character dynamics are going to go. That doesn’t take the joy out of reading it because the way the characters are designed, how they fall together, is structured in such a way to keep the reader interested in the characters. They all have such strong personalities, and they balance each other out enough to allow them to grow and weave impressive dynamics.

The story is fast-paced, it focuses on what is important without lagging, and the perspective shifts that move from one character to another give the story a balanced finish. At the same time, those angles give deeper insights into these still growing characters allowing the reader to connect to the characters and eagerly watch their journey unfold. (★★★★☆ | A-)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013

Page count: 401pp

Age Range: 12 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-5951-4593-2

Publisher: Razorbill

List Price:  $18.99

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