Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (3rd January 2013)
IN A LAND WHERE MAGIC HAS BEEN FORGOTTEN AND PEACE HAS REIGNED FOR CENTURIES, UNREST IS SIMMERING.
THREE KINGDOMS BATTLE FOR POWER . . .
A PRINCESS must journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
A REBEL becomes the leader of a bloody revolution.
A SORCERESS discovers the truth about the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
IT’S THE EVE OF WAR.
EACH MUST CHOOSE A SIDE.
KINGDOMS WILL FALL.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
I’d heard whispers of Falling Kingdoms on Twitter and a couple of book blogs and thought it sounded really interesting. I’m always on the look out for a new High Fantasy book to read, it’s probably my favourite genre – so I’ve read quite a few of them. When I came across a copy of Falling Kingdoms I had to give it a try.
Falling Kingdoms tells the story of Mytica, which has been split into three different kingdoms – Limeros in the north, Paelsia in the centre, and Auranos in the south. It also tells the stories of Princess Cleo, Jonas Agallon, Prince Magnus, and Princess Lucia. They come from the three different kingdoms, and it is around them that the story and plot of Falling Kingdoms revolves. There is also a group called Watchers who occasionally appear in the story. Falling Kingdoms begins as Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos slowly edge towards war.
I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed reading Falling Kingdoms. Rhodes did a good job splitting the narrative between the characters and I found it easy to follow who was from what country, I didn’t once have to flip to the glossary provided at the beginning of the book. However, by just over one hundred pages into the book I found myself noticing certain similarities to books within the sword and sorcery genre that I’d read before. Falling Kingdoms reminds me in certain ways of the books by David Eddings, as well as Trudi Canavan. For most people that wouldn’t be a problem – in fact, I’m sure a few would enjoy it – but it didn’t really work for me this time. I’m not really sure why it didn’t.
You can definitely tell that Falling Kingdoms is the first book in a series. Rhodes does a good job with setting the world and characters up. Rhodes also does a good job with the ending – providing enough closure, but with just enough plot threads dangling to tempt me on to the next book. I really enjoyed reading about Princess Cleo, and watching her journey through the book. Jonas and Prince Magnus were interesting characters, and I look forward to seeing where Rhodes takes them in future books. I’m really not sure what I think of Princess Lucia, I found her quite difficult to understand and emphasise with.
If you are a fan of the sword and sorcery genre then you may want to consider reading Falling Kingdoms. It is a good example of the genre. I’m looking forward to seeing where Rhodes goes with the story in the next book.