Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)
Good Reads Summary
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

My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Were I to piece FALLING KINGDOMS apart, I’d likely be more than impressed than I am right now. I mean, what’s not to love when there’s more than one person doing exactly what they say they’re going to do? Plus, blood thirsty… have I failed to mention the bloodthirsty bits? Some people in this are blood thirsty and perhaps more than slightly crazy because of it. The second certainly made for some exciting/ is this YA moments? (mere moments though!) However, when we put them all together: Lucia, Magnus, Jonas, Cleo and some mysterious Watcher voice that popped up randomly… well, they all fell short of what they could have/should have been.

Roll call!
…Jonas (read too simple in wanting vengeance. ) 

 …Cleo (read too simple in her, “I’ll do what I want when I want to” (she says those very words too, at least once if I recall.) Not to mention the brief “I’ve read this before” moment with the whole guard-sort of /kind of exiled queen that had me asking, “Rissa, is that you?” )

…Magnus (read simple as well in being conflicted; all his should I/ I mustn’t /It’s wrong moments felt so blergh to me.)

…Then there’s the biggest draw for me: Lucia, with a past shrouded in history… but not shrouded enough for my liking because it’s all laid out and all that was left was the making of connections. I wish things were left out so that discoveries for them were discoveries for the reader as well. But nope. So here I’m touching on one thing I disliked: it’s all very simple, to an extent at least because at one point you see where they’re all coming from, grasping the why behind their actions.

And yet there I was still expecting more out of all of them! So that when they did finally act outside the boxes I’d built around them in my head, I had a hard time recognizing them. They’re so clearly described at first, that I could see them one way and but with the new things introduced and them forced to act differently, well: the newness of their behavior felt totally foreign from the people I’d been reading.

Their stories could have/ would have been an OK fantasy read, but they’re lacking in something. Whatever that is, I’m still not sure. Maybe there’s the fact that there were so many people in it that it’s almost impossible to connect to any one character in particular? Their alternating points of view had me seeing them first in a certain light… the later they’d be thinking/saying /doing something out of character. Not a bad thing … if taken as development on their part, but so many people, so many POV’s and things got missed and opportunities to explain something or lay something out set aside as well.

I mean I get it, ask one person and the other guys is the baddy, but ask said baddy and you’ve got the opposite. Obviously! Right? Yet, even from the point of view of one person about who he or she was, well one would still have a difficult time pinning said person down! Was this person good? Bad? Misguided? Or all three at once? Normally were I to go with that last, I’d be more than ecstatic! As then there would be a NON simple character, but the people in this one are not “non simple”! (See above: on how simple they each seemed initially and a good long while there after!)

So given all that nitpicking there’s nobody more surprised than I over the act that I am actually looking forward to the next installment. It seems the changes in all of them that so slowly came about have me more than interested about what’s follow for all of them.

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