REVIEW: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #1)

falling-kingdomsTitle: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Pages: 412
Published by: Razorbill
Publication date: 11th December 2012
Genre: Fantasy/Magic
Format: Hardback
Amazon UK – Waterstones


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 a 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 realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

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 rules 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?

My review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I honestly went into it with not very high hopes after reading a bunch of negative reviews on Goodreads but I actually really enjoyed it! I’ve already ordered the second book, Rebel Spring, and I can’t wait for it to come!

At the start of the book is a ‘cast of characters’ list and it basically lists all the characters in the book, what kingdom they are in and how they relate to the story. For example, Cleo Bellos is the youngest Auranian princess. I found this super helpful because there are a lot of characters and it was good to be able to flick back to the start to remind myself who everyone was.

I went into this book knowing nothing about it apart from it involved kingdoms and magic. I think that’s the best way to go into it because the first book is mainly setting everything up. There is a lot of world building, introducing all the characters and setting up the six book series. I’ll briefly explain the kingdoms and the plot below:

There are three kingdoms: Auranos (Southern kingdom), Paelsia (Middle kingdom) and Limeros (Northern kingdom). Auranos is a very wealthy kingdom full of lush green land with plenty of food and money. Limeros is wealthy too but their land is fading away and they don’t have the lovely green like Auranos. Paelsia is the poorest of them all and is mainly home to peasants with little to no money or food. They receive no help from any of the kingdoms and after one of their own is brutally murdered at the hands of an Auranian royal, Jonas is determined to avenge them and this sets the wheels of revolution in motion. Paelsia and Limeros believe that Auranos is full of greedy people who sit by and do nothing as everyone else suffers. Quoting the synopsis… kingdoms will fall, but who will emerge triumphant?

That’s all I’ll say for now otherwise I might be spoiling what happens because Falling Kingdoms is pretty much about a war brewing between the kingdoms after living in peace for centuries.

The start of the book definitely caught my attention because so much happened in the first few chapters I was just sat there with my mouth hanging open. It was crazy! I love when you are plunged right into the action because it’s so unexpected and it just makes you want to carry on reading. I could not put this book down. At all. I honestly thought it was going to be a really boring story but it was actually pretty exciting. I was expecting the start to be really peaceful and then the war coming towards the end but it actually all happens right at the start and then it builds up throughout the book before exploding at the end.

I read that this book is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones. I haven’t read the books and have only watched the first two seasons of the TV show so my knowledge of Game of Thrones is pretty limited. I do know, however, that is it is very bloody and violent with many, many, many people dying. This book isn’t as violent but it does have a lot of deaths. So many people died in this book it was crazy! They were dropping like flies. It wasn’t really violent but there was a lot of blood and destruction.

What I liked about Falling Kingdoms was that it wasn’t just one person narrating. It kept switching constantly back and forth between four characters: Cleo, Jonas, Lucia and Magnus. If you got tired of one character you got a break from them and moved on to a more fascinating character, Magnus, for instance. Magus really made the book for me! He was a very fascinating character and my heart broke for him time and time again whilst I was reading his chapters. I am really looking forward to finding out more about his character because he just has so much potential. We literally saw so many different aspects of his character and how he has been forced into the person he is by the end of the book. He is a very evil character at times but I think he is genuinely misunderstood. I think he could turn out to be quite a good character and I’m excited to see if that’s true or not as the series unfolds.

Cleo went through a really good character development. At the start she was kind of annoying because she never tried to save herself. She always expected a man to swoop in and save her, she never fought for herself but she did fight for others. She was brave but she certainly wasn’t strong. She was a weak character but by the end she is forced into a corner and she becomes a much stronger character. I’m excited to see how much she changes in the second book because everything and everyone she loves has been cruelly taken from her. There is no one who can save her now and by the end she was determined to save everyone so I hope we do get to see that on some level!

Jonas, too, was an interesting character. He was so passionate about doing what’s right that he kind of let that blind him and made rash decisions. He was so blinded by his hatred for royals that he was willing to do anything to watch them suffer. He wasn’t my favourite character but it was interesting watching his whole viewpoint change throughout and by the end he becomes a more mature character. He has a stronger head on him and sets out a clear path on what is right and wrong. He changes his whole viewpoint by the end and I am interested in reading more from his point of view.

I like how all of the characters are vastly different from one another but their lives all intertwine in one way or another. They all cross paths in very violent ways and they all suffer but deal with their pain in very different ways. Another thing I like is that none of them are perfect. There are no good or bad characters they are just forced to make certain choices and take certain paths. They all have flaws and inner demons to deal with and believe that their actions are justified, they did what they had to do at the time and they can’t change that. There are so many sides to each character and we get to experience every side through the point of view of the other characters when their paths cross! This was very interesting and really exciting to read!

Falling Kingdoms is full of adventure, magic, heartless rulers, death and destruction! It’s a ruthless book full of ruthless characters and I am very excited to get my hands on the second book! I fully recommend this book and I hope you enjoyed this review!

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #1)

    • Beth says:

      I love her writing she just pulls you right into the story! I’m so excited to continue this series 😀 I ordered the second book but from book depository so it will probably take ages to come now… dammit haha

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