Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Why I chose this book:
Ever since this book came out, it sang to me and begged to be read. I finally bought it last month and couldn’t wait to get started. It took me longer than expected to finish, and let me explain to you why. 
*This review contains spoilers*

Falling Kingdoms
 by Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Format: Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy: B&N | Indiebound | Amazon
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? (Goodreads)
3 things you need to know about this book:

1. Character relationships were underdeveloped. I saw this in every single relationship introduced in this book, they were overwhelmingly underdeveloped; however, the relationship that bothered me the most was Cleo and Theon. SPOILER! Theon and Cleo fell in love in the matter of chapters. It went from Cleo not even knowing his name to full fledged love on both sides (more seriously on his), so when he died so abruptly, I was completely stunned. Not only that but they had quite the kiss before his death, and it was as though Rhodes didn’t want him to die without kissing Cleo. But that kiss held no weight with his death in my opinion. And with his abrupt demise, everything seemed terribly underdeveloped.

In my opinion, she could have made it better by giving Cleo and Theon get away and camp together for a night. That would have made the relationship smoother and his death less abrupt as well.

2. Game of Thrones likeness, yay or nay? So not only did the marketers (who are brilliant btw, because God knows that caught people’s attention) for this book compare it to Game of Thrones, but so did multiple reviewers. In my opinion, there are only two similarities, and they are incredibly minor:

A) The alternating points of view that span a continent are similar to Game of Thrones; however, the major difference in this aspect, it only goes to 6 or 7 different POVs, whereas Game of Thrones have way more than that, not to mention each character is way more developed in Martin’s writing.

B) There is also a slightly incestuous relationship in this book. Some would compare it to Cersei and Jaime Lannister, but that is the furthest thing from the truth, which leads me to my final point.

3. Magnus and Lucia’s relationship. This is a slightly incestuous relationship, and for some, that may be disturbing, but it isn’t presented in a Game of Thrones fashion, for Lucia (SPOILER!) is not exactly Magnus’ sister, but she was brought up and knew nothing contrary. This in and of itself is interesting to me, because it begs the question why she made these characters this way. Obviously, this is part of a series, but for a book that is over 400 pages, I think there should have been more development. 

Final Thoughts:
Looking at this book, I would say that though the marketing team was brilliant, the only similarities are sad comparisons. This was a sad attempt to recreate a Game of Thrones for teens. Poorly executed, poorly written, and poorly developed. I wish I could get my $17 back.

I gave this book 1 star on my Goodreads.

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