Over dramatic, yet enthralling, Falling Kingdoms is a YA mashup of Game of Thrones and mid-day soap operas. And I mean that in both a good and bad way.
Rating: 3 stars
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Synopsis: 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.
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed? It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.
Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…
Where do I even begin with this review? Overdramatic, yet enthralling, Falling Kingdoms is a YA mashup of Game of Thrones and mid-day soap operas. And I mean that in both a good and bad way. Falling Kingdoms has a solid foundation as the beginning to an intriguing fantasy series. We have a mysterious opening, dying magic, a hidden chosen one, plotting royals, and more. The world building can be a bit heavy handed at times, but I felt I got a pretty good grasp on the different aspects of the world. I could have used a bit more info on the Watchers, but I feel like they will get better explained in future books.
And then we have the characters…each of the 4 main characters felt like soap opera versions of fantasy character tropes. Cleo is the absolutely annoying pampered princess who goes through some tragedy, whines about it a lot, and then FINALLY decides to take logical action, but it is too late for herself and for me to ever like her. Jonas is the enraged rebel who wants to fight the injustice of his people, but he bumbles about in his anger and lacks any depth. Lucia, our secret chosen one (don’t @ me that this is a spoiler, it basically states she is a secret chosen on in the synopsis), lacks any real development besides finding out her true heritage and I couldn’t tell you a single thing I remember about her. And then we have Magnus, our broody bad boy who is trying to defy his terrible father, while fighting demons of his own. Magnus was the most fleshed out character for me and that’s probably why I like him so much. Either that or I just like that he seems to want to murder a lot of the characters and I relate.
But here’s the thing, I was still hooked into the story. Even though it’s over dramatic most of the time, I want to see what happens. I want to see who dies (PLEASE LET IT BE CLEO) and who triumphs. This is a car wreck of a book, but I can’t look away.