Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Falling Kingdoms Paperback – 11 December 2012
'Once you are drawn into Falling Kingdoms' vividly imagined landscape, you won't ever want to leave it!' (Mizz)
About the Author
- Publisher : Puffin; 1st edition (11 December 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 422 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0141346221
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141346229
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.7 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mytica is made up of three kingdoms, and they all sound the same. Sure, they're described differently—the bountiful one, the poor one, the strict and religious one—but they all talk the same ways. There's no slang, there aren't many references to kingdom-specific things at all. Everyone knows about each kingdoms' gods, everyone knows about the rumours of each kingdom's leaders, none of them seem to have anything really unique to them. There is one character who says that she could figure out where two characters were from based on their accents and the way they spoke, but everyone spoke exactly the same way so it seemed pretty implausible to be honest.
Most of the characters are flat; the only one that seems to go through any development is Cleo, and potentially Jonas and Magnus. However, I found it difficult to care about a lot of the characters in this novel, which is pretty unfortunate since they all seem to be main ones. Surprisingly, I actually liked Cleo quite a bit even though she makes a bunch of bad decisions throughout the novel. And, despite his many flaws, I really liked Magnus as well and I'm curious to see how he changes throughout the next few books.
There are a couple of tropes I'm not fond of in this book, and I'm really hoping they don't continue in the second one. We had insta-love, and love triangles, semi-incestuous crushes, and that one where the only other woman with magic is an evil seductress compared to the pure one with even more powerful magic. It's easy to know how the characters are going to act and react to things; nothing seems surprising at all, and even Cleo's big secret wasn't really that huge of a secret.
On the other hand, it was an entertaining read. While there were points of view that I skimmed due to lack of interest, it was still a fun book to read. As much as I disliked the insta-love between two characters I liked their banter and trying to outmanoeuvre each other. I liked seeing events unfold particularly as the one thing to get things started was the murder of one person.
The events in the book are really obvious, the characters don't have much to them, and there could have been more worldbuilding, but this book was fun. It had a lot of potential, and I'm curious enough to pick up the next book to see how it goes. I hope we get more development for the characters, and find out more things unique to each kingdom in the next one.
And in that way, "Falling Kingdoms" is a decent debut for this author. It has a very well-plotted concept that promises to make an intriguing high fantasy series, but it also suffers from a lot of flaws that budding writers are often plagued with. It's a decent debut, but Rhodes needs some more polishing for the story to become excellent.
There are three kingdoms -- wealthy Auranos, impoverished and superstitious Paelsia, and brutal Limeros. When a drunken Auranian nobleman kills a Paelsian boy in front of Princess Cleo, it inadvertantly sparks off an excuse for war, causing Paelsia and Limeros to form an alliance to take down the country they hate and envy.
Cleo is struggling with her own problems: an engagement to a blackmailing cad, her growing love for a guard, and the illness that is slowly killing her sister. But her attempts to chase down a legend take her into the heart of the blossoming war, and bring her face-to-face with Jonas -- the brother of the man her fiance killed.
In Limeros, Prince Magnus' forbidden love for his sister Lucia takes an unexpected twist when he finds out that she is the subject of a prophecy -- a legendary sorceress who may become the Avatar... sorry, bring together all the elemental magics (earth, air, fire and water) and restore magic to the world. And the cruel King Gaius intends to use her to bring down Auranos.
The verdict? It's... okay.
Rhodes spends a lot of time sketching out the different cultures, back-history and mythology, and deftly weaving them together. There are a different layers to the conflict -- aside from the mere clash of kingdoms, there are also personal hatreds and even a mystical, religious dimension to the conflict.
And for fans of more mature storytelling, there is a lot of blood, death and implied sex (though nothing explicit, just mentions of it). The whole thing explodes in the final third, where Rhodes rushes us through the ugliness of a battlefield -- lots of disembowelments and stabbings.
However... Rhodes is a first-time writer, and it shows. Her prose is strong and muscular, but it has some rough patches -- repetition (take a drink every time Cleo is threatened and/or captured) and too much TELLING instead of SHOWING.
And it could use a bit more embellishment. One scene has Cleo having a nightmare about being drowned in blood by the murdered boy... but you don't FEEL the fear and horror of it. It needed more atmosphere and detail.
But Rhodes gives a lot of care to her expansive cast -- a rebellious princess who manages to avert the usual tropes, a tormented young man hardening into an ice prince, a fiery revolutionary, and even a Watcher who... just watches. Lucia is a bit of a purity Sue, but she isn't too bad as a "chosen one" character. And there is a vast supporting cast of kings, guards, peasants, barbarian chieftains, kindly old ladies and scheming witches. A lot of people die, and not always the ones you expect.
"Falling Kingdoms" has the skeleton of a great epic fantasy, but Morgan Rhodes needs to smooth out some of the rough spots before it can fully blossom. But this is something to keep your eye on.
Top reviews from other countries
The best way to describe this book to you is that it is a YA equivalent of Game of Thrones. It is so epic and amazing that you will be left amazed by the character progression and the beginnings of a huge series. I knew about 20 pages in that I would love this book and it certainly didn't disappoint.
When I had this book for Christmas I knew that I wanted to read it as soon a possible because it is everything that I love about fantasy, you have duel perspectives, battling countries and fantastically written characters.
Whilst this book tends to focus more on the characters than the world building, there is never a lack of any aspect. I knew exactly what to picture when the author was writing the scenes but I think that is because it takes the backdrop of many classic fantasy stories and nothing is totally unimaginable despite the mutterings of magical elements. Thats right, theres magic in this book as well!
The magic element was probably my favourite, it wasn't the main plot but I can tell that it will in the end be the most important factor in this series, the hints and then the stories were super interesting and The Kindred and The Watchers were unique and like nothing I have read before.
Now lets talk about characters... Cleo is one of the best characters I've read about, she is independent, head strong, a little reckless and full of passion. I throughly enjoyed her segments and I think that she has such a strong voice, despite everything that happens she remains strong and I think I may love her slightly.... Magnus is a very intriguing character, I really can't make my mind up about him and to be honest I don't think he can make his mind up about himself. He is mean and reckless and totally like his father but then on the other hand he is nothing like his father because he does feel remorse, but he still does all of these things anyway so does the fact that he feels remorse make any difference? AH I don't know, but this is why I love this book so much because no character is as black and white as they originally seem, they are complex and real. Jonas is again very complex, he wants to avenge his brother but he also has a softer heart and I think that makes him so much more dangerous and so much more threatening to the surroundings, he is also incredibly clever and brave and I think in the second book he will really come into his own.
I can't really say anymore without spoiling anything but I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is too threatened by the size of Game of Thrones, or who finds the GOT series a bit dense because this is everything that is good about GOT but in my opinion even better because there aren't as many characters, the world is not as complex and the writing flows so well that it makes it a super quick read.
Probably better suited to a younger audience.