Book Series Review | Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult.
First, I will be giving by spoiler free thoughts on the series as a whole. At the bottom, I will link all of the reviews for each book (if you’re interested in reading them!).
I picked up this series because I wanted to read something different and new. Even though I’m not a stranger to this genre, I do tend to be more drawn to pick up Urban Fantasy books. Nonetheless, I wanted to delve into something I new basically nothing about and I had heard many wonderful things about this series (most people claimed that it was a great for Fantasy newbies like me).
Allow your heart to have faith no matter what. It’s what will give you strength in troubled times.
For those of you that don’t know, these books take place, mainly, in Mytica. This land is divided into three kingdoms that don’t get along very well. However, one of the most intriguing things about this place are the many many legends of magic and sorceress. Unfortunately, most people don’t believe in this, considering that witches are scarce (some are fakers) and the Watchers (immortals in charge of protecting the mortal realm) have not been seen in hundreds of years. Obviously, as expected, all the legends that roam around are true, and this is one of the things that our characters discover throughout their story. Simultaneously, we see how a very tragic and unprecedented event starts a revolution, causing the kingdoms to go into war. I will not say anymore cause then there would be spoilers, but this is the vaguest premise I could give you of how the story takes off.
This series started off slow for my taste. The first book was kind of predictable and not many things surprised me. This does not mean that it’s a bad book because it’s great, but it is an introduction. I immediately liked most of the characters and I thought that the situation was interesting enough. However, what never ceased to make me gasp was all of the deaths. OH MY GODDDD this author is ruthless when it comes to killing of characters. I honestly thought that everyone would die at some point and that no one was safe, specially because at the beginning, we don’t really know which characters will actually be relevant and fundamental to the main plot. Also, with all of the death, comes a lot of gore, to the point that I seriously questioned if this should be a Young Adult series. In spite of what I thought of Falling Kingdoms, by the second book I was completely hooked and I thought that EVERYTHING was amazing.
I will not reveal anything more of the following installments cause spoilersss (if you want to know more about them go check out my reviews, the are linked below!). However, I will tell you that this story is just plot twist after plot twist, death after death (even though it does ease off after the fourth book) and choices after choices.
As I said in one of my reviews, I loved that the character development was so properly woven into the plot and they both relied heavily on each other. We never knew what the characters would decide to do and, consequently, where the story would go. On another note, one of the things I enjoyed the most, was the writing. I am not the biggest fan of overly poetic or adorned writing. I really prefer a more real and simple style because it’s easier to read and I feel like it helps me relate much more with the story and characters.
Now, time for one of my favorite topics… THE CHARACTERS.
First of all, Magnus and Cleo. I have talked so much about these two because I love them so so so much. I think they are both great and they have grown so much since the first book. I loved the fact that we got to see them learn from their mistakes and the tragedies they endured, but, by the end, they were still themselves. They are both so strong, resilient, intelligent and brave. They are not fearless by any means, but that just shows how determined they are, because they will not give up. They never succumb to duress and I admire that. I have to admit that Cleo annoyed me a lot cause she jumped to conclusions often and Magnus would just get pissed off and wouldn’t clarify things and I just wanted to… *jnogjwnhoqwgn*. Anyways… I loved them but they are at another level of stubbornness.
Next up, Jonas. At the beginning I didn’t like him very much because I thought he was very resentful and it made me really mad. However, we got to know him so well and he is SO GOOD. He is the most amazing person ever and everyone knows it. He is honest, loyal and he recognizes when he’s made a mistake and only tries to constantly improve. By the end of the series, he became one of my favorites (at the same level as Magnus and Cleo). I adored his journey and all of the relationships he established with everyone in these books.
When it comes to Nic, Ashur, Felix and Nerissa, I am pretty partial. I think they are all very good characters and I really enjoyed reading about them. Nic was annoying most of the time (particularly because of his relationship with Magnus) but he was also super cute and loves Cleo so much (soooo adorable). Ashur is so smart and passionate. I love how he cares so much about the people he loves and just tries to help them as much as he can. Felix is hilarious, in my opinion, and I had a blast reading about him. Nerissa is so strong and badass. I loved her sense of loyalty and that she always supported the right side.
Now, the ones I absolutely did not like… Lucia, Amara and, obviously, King Gaius.
My opinion on Lucia might be controversial, but I just couldn’t find it in myself to like her. I have not liked her since the very first book. I thought she was so cruel, selfish, resentful, spoiled, arrogant and… so many more things I cannot put into words. I know she is a very complicated character and that we see her go through SO much, but I just feel like she constantly chose wrong and did things for the wrong reasons. Towards the end she became I bit more tolerable, but I definitely do not like her AT ALL.
I think it’s obvious why I don’t like Amara. She is a b**ch. If you’ve finished the series, you might forgive her or understand her actions, and I do. I honestly do. But that doesn’t mean I have to like her.
I thought King Gaius was an amazing character, even if I did hate him. I thought it was very intriguing and interesting how much he loved his children, because he actually did so so so much. I think this is unusual in ‘villains’, but this character’s weakness was always his family. Every decision he made he thought about their wellbeing and legacy. And, even when his kids betrayed him, he kind of forgave them. I am not saying he was a good parent, cause he wasn’t, he was horrible. But he did love them very much in his own way, and towards the end of the series we get to see that much more clearly.
Overall, I think it’s pretty clear that I really liked this story. At the end, the author hinted that there will be a spinoff series (which I’m pretty sure is already published) and I’m definitely interested to read that too! If you love fantasy, plot twists, magic, gore and real characters, you should read the Falling Kingdoms Series.