Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Falling Kingdoms by: Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes

Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 412
Format: Paperback / Turkish edition
Source: Received from Turkish publisher for review

Description:


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?


My thoughts: 


I completed the mid parts of this post, and then found myself thinking what I should say in the beginning. How about I say, “Are you ready for a story that has many characters, princes and princesses, politics and wine and witches and magic in three different kingdoms?”

In Falling Kingdoms, there are three kingdoms: Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos. We get to see the people living in them and ruling them, and how they find themselves in a war. The fantasy world that Rhodes creates sucks you in right away, but I must say from the beginning that it is a bit hard to keep up with the names of all the characters as you’re starting out. I think this is partly because there is a comprehensive list of characters at the beginning of the book. Of course, it was included to make things easier, but for me it just made it harder—not all the names on there are mentioned often, and not all of them are around much in this installment. So, don’t let the names confuse you; you’ll get the hang of it.

I’ve always said it, and I’m gonna say it again: I admire writers who can handle multiple characters and do it well. Rhose is one of these kind of writers. Even though the characters who live in different kingdoms look like they wouldn’t have anything to do with each other, a tragic event makes them face one another. As the kingdoms get shaky, things start getting even more exciting because we get to see how every character reacts to certain situations. It’s scandal after scandal, really, which I must admit I’m a sucker for.

I received Falling Kingdoms from its Turkish publishers for review, and I picked it up without even reading the blurb in the back. After I was done, I was checking out what other bookworms had to say about it, and I saw that it was mostly marketed as a YA version of Game of Thrones. Now, I’ve seen the first season of the show, but I haven’t gotten around to reading those books yet, so I can’t really compare and contrast. However, I shall come back to this once I’ve read the GoT books.

Before I jump to something rather out of topic, I have a message for Rhodes: please, please put in more goddesses and magic!

As I was reading this book, I also found myself thinking about character names (the fact that there are so many of them in Falling Kingdoms might have triggered it, ha!) For example, when you hear Romeo, your mind immediately goes to Shakespare’s Romeo. Or when one hears Charlotte, they’re likely to think of Charlotte’s Web Charlotte. And I’ve realized that the name Magnus has been carved into my head as the Wizard Magnus from Mortal Instruments series. I had put a face to him while reading those books. He looks nothing like the Magnus described in Falling Kingdoms, by the way. So when I hear the name Magnus, my brain pulls up a picture of the magician Dynamo:
Something to think about, really, and I’m planning to explore this name thing a whole lot more when I can. 

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