I will be doing a full review on the first half of the Falling Kingdom Series which includes:
Note: I did a review on Falling Kingdoms last year [here] and although I still love the series, some of my opinions have changed on certain characters.
Summary of the first book, Falling Kingdoms: 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.
Warning: This review does NOT contain any spoilers but some events are/might seem IMPLIED.
Although the premise of the story isn’t completely original, what I thought was unique was that we get to be in the point of view of multiple characters from all of the 3 main kingdoms. WE as the reader gets to choose the side that WE want to root for, so essentially, WE get to pick who the bad guy (or girl) is. I think this concept is even more apparent in the 3rd book, Gathering Darkness, because we truly see how all the characters are morally gray and that’s what really makes Falling Kingdom Series rise in the rankings of the other YA fantasies.
Now I will say, this is DEFINITELY a character driven story. While reading, I was so enticed in everyone’s drama, I forgot what the story is even about. Not that it’s a bad thing but if you’re looking for plot-driven series, I would pass on this one.
Now since this is a character driven story, I have a lot of opinions on our four main characters.
Lucia: ugh. She’s bland as vanilla and irritating as person who won’t turn off their alarm. When it was in her point of view, I was tempted to just skip her parts. Since she was a sorceress, I thought she would be at least a little bit interesting but Nope. I liked her in the first half of Rebel Spring, God bless the Queen. And oh god people in the book make fun of Cleo’s elite attitude but Lucia is far worse in my opinion. She’s on my list of the worst characters of all time. It’s very unlikely that my opinions of her will change in future books.
Cleo: Honestly, for about 2 books straight, she was useless. She was mostly there to be the center of the (petty relationship) drama but in book three, she proved her worth in mysterious ways. Even in books 1 and 2 I still liked Cleo. She holds her ground and all her actions are for what she believes. Although she may not be the most badass character, she shows devotion for the ones she loves through her actions and decision making and that’s badass to me.
Jonas: Oh Jonas, how I pity you. He tries, he really does. He takes the expression “if you don’t suceed, try and try again” to heart. I wasn’t a big fan of him in the beginning but he grew on me. His sarcastic humor grew to me. His determination grew to me. Not my favorite character, but still one I’m interested in learning more about in future books.
Magnus: The famous (infamous) Magnus. He’s such an angry, confused puppy at times but I can’t help but love him. Throughout the books, I wanted to shake him, slap him, snap him to reality. Confess his feelings to certain characters. GIVE UP on certain character *cough* lucia *cough* I loved him, I hated him the I loved him again. He’s brash, sassy, apathetic but those are the feelings he wants to show the world. I can honestly go on and on about Magnus but that will make this review TOO long.
There’s a lot of side characters but that would also make the review long and dreadful.
A problem that I had while reading was that literally everyone fell in love with one another. When it came to Gathering Darkness, it was difficult to keep up with who liked who, who loved who, who did who it became annoying. And I already told a friend about this and she told me it was a common trope in most fantasy books, tv, and movies but it still bothered the HELL out of me. However, it did form a lot of “ships” for me.
Another aspect that lacked was descriptions. I was told about Cleo’s blond hair about ten thousand times but I’m trying to construct certain scenes and places in my mind. I’m being told what’s what instead of being showed.
I don’t know, perhaps I’m being picky.
One thing that I had to admit is that although the characters are the sole stars of the story, Rhodes definitely had my heart racing at times. The last 150 pages of the third book, was twist after twist and I was deceived multiple times. All the characters are unreliable, their actions sometimes unpredictable and that’s the aspect of the books that keeps me reading.
Overall, this series is fun. The second book is where the series start to fall. I forgot everything in Rebel spring already and I finished it only a week ago (given it took me a year to read). The book was slow, the action scenes were not that fun (and can honestly be taken out) and I was just overall annoyed about everything. But the third book, oh the third book is worth it. Although there were fewer action scenes, the plot awakened, the issues at hand was apparent and deception kept me interested. New characters were introduced and the character development improved (except for Lucia, I will always hate her though). The end of Gathering Darkness made me want to splurge on Frozen Tides. Too bad I’m not buying books right now:(.
If you want to be emotionally played, I would give these books a go.
I will continue on this series, but I am going to have to wait until this one person on overdrive finishes her copy of Frozen Tides. *sigh* oh well.
What do you think about Falling Kingdoms?
Damn you Rebel Springs for being an outlier!