Another Thrilling Installment | Review of ‘Crystal Storm’ (Falling Kingdoms #5)

By Cynthia Ayala

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

“The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies. In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges and unite against their common enemy: Amara. Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.” —Goodreads

This is just one of those series that continues to get better only because the characters and the tension between them and the story continues to elevate without losing itself in all the magic. This is a series that many compare to Game of Thrones and while that description is accurate this series it able to hold itself up on its own merit. This is a powerful series with some very captivating characters and the evolution of the story works so well. These characters have come so far from who they were in then first novel and that has made them quite enjoyable to read and follow. Magnus is perhaps one of the strongest characters in the novel because as far as characterization goes he’s had a rough life and has had to build himself up as a sort of villain, except he doesn’t want to be like his father. No, he wants the complete opposite. But more than that, he becomes the villain again in the face of Cleo’s friends, hiding their romance for their sake, so that their only allies will not turn on them. It breaks him, every interaction breaks him, but he keeps the charade up. It certainly adds a lot of tension between the characters and the story giving readers a little more of the same when it comes to Cleo and Magnus, yet it’s different entirely.

There is also Amara. Amara is a villain, but not in the same sense as Gaius. She’s an understandable villain who thirsts for equally having come from a culture that oppresses women to horrific points. Even Empress her people still seek to take her down and make her brother, whom she killed, king. Yet with magic there is a price she is only beginning to understand, a price that begins to corrupt her as she seeks power and acceptance amongst her people. Power she eagerly craves to change her culture and pave a different future for it. There is certainly more to her than meets the eye making her a force to be reckoned with which makes reading the story even more interesting. She was a new element in the last two books and now she has become and even stronger element that the story needed to grow as well as it has.

All around there was character development adding to the character dynamics and tension within the novel. Everyone changes, everyone has their own personal demons at play in the novel, personal demons that are affecting the novel in amazing ways. And the direction of the story to connect to a long-forgotten past makes for a solid surrounding of the characters. It’s the past that ties the characters and the story together.

There are so many elements at work here that could have destroyed the story. With so much going on there is always a risk of doing that. There are so many characters in the novel and even the minor characters who don’t exactly have a POV chapter are given enough time to develop and connect to the rest of the characters and the story. The novel just flows quite perfectly going from moment to moment as it develops all the twists and turn that the plot has to offer the reader. And they are some great twits and turns.

There is evolution to the story as there should be in every novel that expands past the characters development and into the story itself. The story expands past what was first presented in the first novel giving life to such wonder and simply and enjoyable read. (★★★★☆ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2016

Page count: 379pp

Age Range: 12 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-5951-4822-3

Publisher: Razorbill

List Price:  $18.99

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