Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vouched Book! "Falling Kingdoms" by Morgan Rhodes

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?

"Falling Kingdoms will gut you emotionally. It will make you ache, cry, and beg for the sequel as you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it." — Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Queen

"This triple-layered tale of bloodshed, heartbreak, and tangled court intrigue kept me turning pages very late into the night." — Lesley Livingston, award-winning author of Wondrous Strange

Find it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository
Find Morgan Rhodes on: Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Group)
Genre & Content Rating: YA Fantasy, 16+

This is the first book I've picked up from PenguinTeen's Breathless Reads Collection. While I wasn't breathless, Falling Kingdoms has vivid battle scenes and a couple heart-tugging moments.

Kingdoms do fall. The young are left to grow up fast and pick up the pieces while their hopes and dreams are crushed. Death, secrets, and betrayals are abundant—throat-slicing being the choice death-blow, though don't expect cloak-and-dagger assassins (and plot twists) like the book cover leads one to expect because there are none, sadly.

I think that was my main issue with the book—there was no stealth, no mystery. I knew what was going to happen; the twists and "secrets" were obvious. I anticipated the characters' reactions and the outcome—and it wasn't in a good way. It made the buildup a bit slow for me. I also thought there was more "telling" than "showing" in the beginning. With the exception of one character (Magnus), I didn't see what the characters saw in another character. Though I knew their personalities in a general sense, I didn't feel Cleo, Jonas, or Lucia in my gut.

But once I got to the climax (about three-quarters in), I couldn't put the book down, and the character growth was fantastic. Every character made some kind of leap, some kind of change, that is rare in YA.

Falling Kingdoms was good, not great, but I'll definitely check out the rest of the series, hoping for a similar pace to the last quarter of the book. A solid three-and-half stars bumped up to four because of the ending.

LUV'NV Rating: Rating as 12/13/2012: 4.3 out of 5 stars


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