Falling Kingdoms Series (Books 1-4) Review

Falling Kingdoms  is a high fantasy series by Morgan Rhodes, who also writes under the pen name Michelle Rowan. Falling Kingdoms follows several people, princes, princesses, rebels, commoners, sorceresses, who are all poised on different alignments of a vastly complicated battlefield. It escalates quickly in the first book, the murder of an innocent wine-sellers boy from one of the three provinces starts the snowball rolling, and soon enough two of the countries in the three country land, Palasia and Limeros, have joined forces to take over Auranos. And underneath all of the fighting and politics lies a mere legend, four crystals called the Kindred, lost in the land, that allow you to wield all the elemental magic and become an equivalent of the god. But nobody seems to be able to locate them, let alone use them.

SPOILER ALERT

Falling Kingdoms was by far on of the best series I read this past year. It was thoroughly thought out and meticulously planned, and no subplot or minor detail was left unanswered. I found it very interesting to read a book from multiple sides at once, and I loved the idea that one side could never be all the way right. I was intrigued by the first book, captured by the second book, enamored with the third, and by the fourth I pretty much breathing Falling Kingdoms. The characters were all excellent, their personalities and decisions closely correlating with backstories and emotions. I enjoyed the lack of solid love triangles, instead the romantic interest was easily and quickly shifted, like in real life. The differing perspectives also gave you insight on things that were going on with other characters, and lies that were being told and believed, which was wonderfully infuriating.

The characters were all stupendous. My favorites were definitely Cleo and Magnus, I liked how their strong personalities continually clashed after the forced marriage. I also loved how Magnus often had a sarcastic or witty comment in his thought process. I found Jonas the most boring to read from honestly, but I found myself laughing the most when reading from him. Lucia was a joy to read sometimes, and a burden others. I found her the most interesting during Alexius's brief appearance. In the fourth book she was obviously very confused, and I often felt more pity for her. I really was enjoying the relationship between her and Cleo, and was disappointed when it shattered. I hope the friendship is brought back in the fifth book. Lysandra, I was so sad when she died in the fourth book. I actually think that was not a good choice, because she was a very strong character, and the specific mission she died doing seemed essentially just an excuse for her to die. She did't really get a reward for dying, just was in the wrong place at the wrong time. So that was sad. Felix was...interesting. By the end I really liked reading about him, but in the beginning I was a bit more suspicious, like Lysandra. I thought for a while he might be the fire kindred, so when Kyan made an appearance I was surprised. I must admit that I grew to hate Kyan almost as much as I hate King Gaius. But even Gauis, whom I was sure was evil to the core, showed a strange snuffed out heart when speaking of his lost love from the island. Rhodes was really able to convey depth and complexity throughout each character, and I don't think there was a single static character in the whole series.

The concept was creative, taking the typical country versus country siege and turning it into  a full scale chain of events involving three different lands uniting into one under a single, tyrannical king, who approached each subject differently and strategically in order to gain power. I liked Mytica and all it's provinces a lot, and I liked reading about them. The Kindred of course brought in an interesting twist, as did the watchers and elemental magic. I liked how the lust for the magic interweaved with the political conflict, hinting at ulterior motives and differing levels of hunger for the crystals.

King Gaius I absolutley hated, and all I can say is that he had better be dead after that fall, otherwise I'm going to be pretty frustrated. I'm happy that Magnus and Cleo fell in love after all, there was sufficient foreshadowing to get you to believe it might happen but enough squabbling and negativity to make you a serious doubter. Go Magnus! Lucia becoming pregnant threw me for a loop, that was a clever one, especially since Alexius was dead and unable to help her (poor Alexius!).

Bringing the Kraeshian empire into the mix was something I originally thought a mistake but then understood as the story progressed. Now I understand completely, and I'm simply dying to know if they will succeed in conquering Mytica. I don't like Amara much, but I can understand why she behaves in the way she does, and part of me hopes that she ends up taking over the Kraeshian Empire (not Mytica) because those people need a woman ruler to slap them back into reality honestly. The sexism in that kingdom makes me sick.

The fifth book is coming out in 2016, and all I can say is that it better hurry because I don't know how long I can wait. I need answers!




Did you like Falling Kingdoms as much as I did? Who was your favorite perspective to read from? Comment below!

2 comments :

  1. These sound like wonderful books that I would enjoy! I'll have to check them out sometime!
    ~Anna
    https://the3musketeerssite.wordpress.com/

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    1. You definitely should- they are the best! You would love them, I know I did!!
      -Vivian

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