Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review: Falling Kingdoms

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms ~ Book 1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publication Date: December 11 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN: 1595145842
Length: 400 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Epic and so very cool looking.
Point of View: 3rd person, following multiple characters

My Rating: 3 Stars

My rating of 3 Stars may lead you to believe that I didn't enjoy Falling Kingdoms which really wouldn't be the case.  I did enjoy it, I just didn't love it and it failed to really wow me or draw me into the story.  This could ultimatlly be for a number of reasons.

I have a hard time getting into a book that is written in 3rd person.  Unless it is written perfectly I find myself detached from the characters and not drawn to them as I would from a 1st person POV.  However with that said I really could not see how this could have been written in 1st person.  There are just too many characters that we are following and to alternate between them would be quite difficult if from their own POV.

The story itself is very high fantasy so those that gravitate toward this genre should give it a chance.  There was a lot of world building at the start so I found it a bit slow to begin with.  There is a lot of build up of the main story but you slowly see how the characters from across the three lands are intertwined and how they are going to end up either working with or against each other.

There are four main characters that we follow throughout the story, Cleo, Jonas, Lucia and Magnus.  Their world is Mytica which is now divided into three kingdoms.  To the North we have Limeros, to the South Auranos and in the middle Paelsia.

My favorite of the four main characters are Lucia and Magnus and they are from Limeros in the North.  I felt the most attached to them and their story.  Magnus is the next in line for the Limeros throne and Lucia is his sister.  Their father is known as the King of Blood and is a cold and calculating man.  Cleo is from the South, Auranos, and is the youngest princess of that kingdom.  I found Cleo to be a bit selfish and it took me even longer to warm to her character.  Also, she is involved in a love story that I didn't really understand all that much.  I think it could be because time passes quite swiftly in this book as we pass between each character so we are not there for everything that is going on when we are with a new person.  So there is a hint of insta love but really who knows... maybe months could have passed and we were just not a part of the build up.  Lastly, Jonas is from the middle kingdom Paelsia.  It is his story that really gets everything kick started.  His older brother is murdered and it is his need for revenge that starts the wheels of revolution in motion.  I liked Jonus, I felt his need for retribution justified and understood his actions.

Now, outside of the three kingdoms there is a place called the Sanctuary.  This is where the Watchers are located.  These beings watch over the three kingdoms through the eyes of hawks.  They can not leave the Sanctuary with their own body or they will be cast out, never to return.  They were the protectors of the Kindred, four crystals that held the purest essence of elementia or in other words magic.  They are obsidian for earth, amber for fire, aquamarine for water and moonstone for air.  When the kingdoms were divided the Kindred were taken from the Sanctuary and now they are hidden somewhere in the kingdoms.  Their job now is locate them and bring them back, the Sanctuary is dying and without the Kindred being returned everything will be lost.

So as you can see I wasn't kidding when I said there is a lot of world building.  I will carry on with the series as new books are published because I want to see what happens.  Rebel Spring is showing a publication date in 2013 but at the time of this review there has been no exact date or month given as of yet.

“Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic.”

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