Just Keeps Getting Better | Review of ‘Gathering Darkness’ (Falling Kingdoms #3)


By Cynthia Ayala

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
Razorbill
Image Credit: Goodreads

“In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient, all-powerful magic, first: Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred – the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica… but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.” —Goodreads

Published December 9, 2014, by Razorbill, Gathering Darkness is the third book in the riveting young adult fantasy series, Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes.

What a gripping, fast-paced read. Rhodes has kept up the fast-paced of the novel with the fantasy themes building up to unravel the story. Admittedly, it’s a little slow while Rhodes introduces more players into the mix of the story. To the overall plot, they aren’t very essential characters, their purposes obvious to the story as being nothing more than tension driven devices to the story. They do succeed at bringing more representation into the novel, but some of them are killed off as early as they are brought in, which hurts the authors aim to bring more representation to the story.

That being said, the story has built to a darker point. Sure, this series has never been light or flowery, but with the rising tension the darkness within the characters, exploring each of their inner darkness within the heartbreak they suffer and anger they feel. I will say this on a personal note, this has been my favorite novel in the series thus far. And let me tell you all the reasons why.

There is so much that can be said about the characters. Jonas overall hasn’t gone through much character growth. However, his eyes have opened beyond the rage that has filled him and blinded him since the first novel. Moreover, as a rebel, he has had such bad luck that it borders on comical giving the reader a much-needed lightness to balance out the darkness and somber tones in the novel. He faces a lot of challenges, and despite the losses that he has encountered in the series thus far, he keeps the optimism, he keeps the hope and doesn’t waver from it.

As far as character development goes, Lucia is probably the one character that has let go of her innocence that defined her from the previous novels and has let go of the fight against the darkness inside her. Lucia has officially let her anger and darkness within her bubble to the top. She has excelled in her magic, and she has excelled in her capabilities to be someone new. It’s powerful change on her part, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

As for all the other characters, while their growth is at a minimum their dynamics offer up dramatic shifts and changes for the reader to enjoy. And these changes add more dimensions to who the characters are, what they are seeing and how they are opening themselves up to other opportunities.

Overall though the story is very captivating. It’s incredible how everything unfolds, and with an opening as explosive as that and then just hushed over, the energy is there is to see how this event, this awakening is going to unfold or even meld into the plot. The way it does so is incredible. It’s unsuspecting, and the twists and turns of the novel make the reader eager to read on and follow the characters on their journey to survive the enemies that lurk around every corner.

An absolutely fantastic read with a mind-blowing ending. (★★★★★ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2014

Page count: 416pp

Age Range: 12 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-1016-2320-6

Publisher: Razorbill

List Price:  $18.99

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