Book of the Year 2012 (see all)
In a land where magic has been forgotten and peace has reigned for centuries, unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms battle for power… A princess must journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long-thought extinct. A rebel becomes the leader of a bloody revolution. A Sorceress discovers the truth about the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield. It's the eve of war. Each must choose a side. Kingdoms will fall.
My encounter with this book was actually pretty funny. I was browsing new, interesting books to read and this was one on my list. And then a few days passed and all of a sudden Puffin books dropped in the request for reviewing this book! What a coincidence!
Falling Kingdoms is written by Morgan Rhodes, which is the young-adult writing pseudonym of paranormal romance author Michelle Rowen. Falling Kingdoms is her first venture into the young-adult genre and Falling Kingdoms is a very good entry.
The story centers around three different kingdoms and each have there own storyline based on a few different characters. The land of Mythica, in which Falling Kingdoms takes place, is divided into three kingdoms: the northern kingdom Limeros, the middle kingdom Paelsia and the southern kingdom Auranos. Though these three kingdoms are at peace there is a lingering tension between them, not a war at the start of the book but rather a heated relationship between inhabitants of the different kingdoms when they are confronted with each other. Similarly the borders between the different kingdoms are tightly regulated for trespassers. It was from the start quite noticeable that there was a strong aiming at the for the younger audience. The ages of the lead characters are about 16 years old and this was actually a good decision, combining this aspect with an quite strong emotional personality of each character gave a good backbone to the whole story. Though it is a fairly simple idea behind the book, three kingdoms at the brink of war and having in each kingdom several story lines that mingle and confront each other, there was also a great world building from the start. Showing firstly the uniqueness given to each kingdom, where one is more prosperous than the other and one where there is a lot of poverty present. Also the environments were quite lush, added to this was the whole magical aspect. In the world of Mythica, there are Watchers. The history behind how several things came to pass, was very neatly done with the division of the Kindred and how several players want to get their hands on an unthinkable power. All in all I was more than pleased with the level of depth given to this story and something totally unexpected for a young adult book.
Just zooming on a bit further into the story. As I mentioned each of the kingdoms have several characters that make a lead appearance. From the synopsis I could make out that with the three different kingdoms, I assumed that each kingdom had their own sort of take on dealing with the lingering threats reflecting in the one storyline centring around a princess, while the other two were for the rebel and the last for the sorceress. The prologue of Falling Kingdoms took off interestingly showing already quite the display of magic, betrayal and producing an nice entryway into the book. Creating many questions to the why’s and if’s of Falling Kingdoms and of course what direction this story would go to. Morgan Rhodes did one thing great and that is highlighting each character individually. From Auranos, Cleiona, Cleo Bellos the youngest Austarian princess. From Paelsia, Jonas Agallon. From Limeros I found that there were actually two characters that were important, both Magnus Damora and Lucia Damora, prince and princess of Limeros. Each of these characters had a great personal story given to them. This personal element was greatly emphasized by a strong emotional current given to each one. In Cleo’s case you could see that she was firstly subjected to the background of the royal court but later due to certain events that transpired she changed dramatically by going to a truly confident character and taking control of her own actions. In the ending of the book she finds herself in completely different waters. In Jonas’s case he is thrown into a completely different world as well, by events that transpire in the market place, he is now out for revenge for his brother. Jonas’s story for me was also quite emotional, as you see him in the beginning of a book as a young merchant, he is growing out to be a young leader. The last part of the characters: Magnus and Lucia both had important parts to play. I found that the kingdom of Limeros was the one that felt the most constructed. This was partly reflected in how The king of Limeros took the story over. In Magnus’s case, he already has a more of a strained relationship between him and his father. Lucia felt a bit misplaced in this part but later I found out the reason why. They both have their own stories but they also do quite intermingle with each other, especially in the end when the war is starting.
I do have to restrain from telling about too much of the story, it is quite a comprehensive story that reads away easily. But that does show a bit the plainness of the story, though this is not a bad thing at all, it actually makes this book 100% suited for the younger audience. Morgan Rhodes has with Falling Kingdoms definitely made a solid entry into this genre producing a very interesting epic fantasy book that will appeal to younger and older readers alike. It is filled with both action and compelling scenes that truly make the pages of this book come to life.
Review by Jasper de Joode
5 positive reader review(s) for Falling Kingdoms
Fatima from South Africa
Good book for the YA category, interesting suspense, a bit cliche but a great effort nonetheless. I rate it 8 because of the cliche and there is always room for improvement, for this genre and age group I think it was worth the time. Books should be rated on its content not only on preference because if someone doesn't like the genre then they will rate the book badly.
Lillian from US
I loved the plot line and the charcters. Thia book does not deserve a low rating to some people out there.
David from US
It doesn't deserve a low score, So I'm rating it ten. I liked it and read every Falling Kingdoms book after it.
Becca Rogers from UK
It's really good!
Kaitlin from USA
The book 'Falling Kingdoms' is full of action. It has ongoing suspense and perfect plots. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, but I must say if you like fiction and need a good book to read, 'Falling Kingdoms' is the book for you!
9.5/10 from 6 reviews