Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour! Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes (pseudonym of Michelle Rowen)
Release Date: December 11, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 400
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 5 Stars

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: 
Falling Kingdoms was easily one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I was absolutely thrilled that it completely lived up to my high expectations! I was completely captivated by Morgan Rhodes's words on every single page. In a land where the powerful are all too eager to betray and manipulate their enemies, who can be trusted? Kingdoms will fall and no one is safe from death.

Morgan Rhodes has put great effort into envisioning three very different kingdoms which have their own histories and deities their people believe in. While the novel is mainly told through the perspectives of the four main characters Cleo, Jonas, Magnus, and Lucia, I never felt confused by the style of narration. Cleo, Jonas, Magnus, and Lucia each have distinctive personalities, and it was interesting to discover how their lives were so intertwined.

Cleo is a princess of the wealthy kingdom Auranos who doesn't understand the hardships that many others face. Her life of luxury is taken for granted, and she's used to getting away with whatever she wants. Jonas is completely unlike Cleo. He's is a poor wine seller's son, and when his brother is brutally murdered in unfair justification, his anger and thirst for revenge lead him on a path which will change Paelsia, his impoverished kingdom.

Magnus is heir to the throne of Limeros, and while many may fear him, the only person in the world he truly cares about is his younger sister Lucia. He was raised to be a cold-hearted conquerer like his father, King Gaius, who uses strict laws and a strong military presence to rule. Lucia was secretly adopted into the royal family with no idea that her awakening magical abilities, which have just begun to come into power since she's turned sixteen, are connected to a destiny she will soon need to face. I grew immensely attached to these characters as I read along, but I also worried about what fate had in store for them, a feeling which left me anxiously turning the pages.

I loved every moment of Falling Kingdoms and cannot wait to see what will happen next in the second novel, Rebel Spring! The tenuous peace and building political turmoil among the neighbouring kingdoms made Falling Kingdoms such a compelling read. Morgan Rhodes's debut is a fantastic, action-filled start to the Falling Kingdoms series and I would recommend the book to any fan of the high fantasy genre in a heartbeat.

Thanks so much to Penguin Canada for providing this review copy and organizing the Canadian blog tour!

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  1. I really like the sound of this book! Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I'm so excited to read this. I'm buying it for my trip to China next week.