SERIES REVIEW: Morgan Rhodes “Falling Kingdoms”

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Series Name: Falling Kingdoms

Titles in Series: Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness, Frozen Tides, Crystal Storm, Immortal Reign

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Genre: Fantasy

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

Caution: This review will contain mild spoilers for the entire series.

I realized too late that I should have reviewed these books as I read them instead of as a whole like this, but by that time I was already three books in and there was no turning back. And sadly, the whole thing was a blur. That means this series review is probably going to be incohesive and jumbled, but I’ll hopefully be able to get my feelings and thoughts about this series out and sorted through.

I binged the Falling Kingdoms series starting at the beginning of this year because I’ve owned the first book for way too long. I was slowly growing my Falling Kingdoms collection without having read any of the books and I thought it was time that I finally change that. So here I am, having read the entire series in the span of 4 months, and I still don’t know what to think.

Maybe I would have liked these more if I had had to wait between books like people who have been reading and loving this series from the beginning. Maybe binging these books led to me having negative feelings toward them. Whatever the case, whatever the cause, in the end I closed the last book feeling like I had wasted a lot of time.

Falling Kingdoms is marketed as Game of Thrones for young adults; I haven’t seen or read Game of Thrones so I can’t say if this is true or not, but it seems to definitely put off a vibe from what I know. This series follows several characters throughout the course of the story, but the main ones would be Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia. It’s set in the land of Mytica which is divided into 3 kingdoms: Auranos, Limeros and Paelsia.

Cleo is the princess of Auranos, the southernmost kingdom and by far the most plentiful of the three. She finds herself caught in the midst of a scandal when she is seen with Lord Aron Lagaris when he slays a young Paelsian in cold blood. She’s of course devastated by the events that took place and feels guilt-ridden for not doing more to prevent it.

However, the older brother of the murdered Paelsian, Jonas, seeks vengeance for his death and ends up sparking a revolution as Paelsia and Limeros seek to rise up against Auranos.

Magnus and Lucia are brother and sister, and the children of the Limerian King of Blood. Magnus struggles between wanting to do right and wanting to please his cruel, violent father, while Lucia discovers secret and powerful abilities within herself.

The political intrigue and the promise of magic really kept me engaged and interested in this series. For the first several books, I was hooked, even though I didn’t care for many of the characters, including the main ones. I didn’t think they were fleshed out enough and the few traits that they did carry, I did not like.

For instance, Magnus is in love with Lucia, his sister. No matter how much he tries to fight his feelings and his urges, it still creeps me out and it honestly caused me to hate him for at least the first three books. We end up finding out that they’re not actually related, so it doesn’t become a matter of incest anymore; however, I still find the idea pervy and it leaves me with a gross feeling in my gut. It took me a long time to warm up to Magnus’s character after this.

Cleo was probably my favorite character, and she remained strong and decent throughout the entire reading experience. She had her issues as most characters do, but in the end I respected and admired her strength and dedication to her kingdom.

Jonas was attracted to and wanted to make out with every woman he met, it was honestly ridiculous. Throughout the course of this entire series, he “falls in love” with at least 3 women… desperate much? Keep it in your pants, fight your stupid rebellion and just chill.

And Lucia was by far my least favorite main character. She had absolutely no substance to her, no personality, until all of a sudden she’s angry and mean and cruel and horrible out of nowhere. So Lucia starts out sweet and dull, then becomes evil and dull, and by the last book she’s mean and dull. Basically, she was dull, and as a magic user, she should have been one of the more interesting characters. Not the case.

This series also suffered from a bad case of insta-love, on all accounts. There was one slow-burn romance which I very much appreciated, but everyone else was like, “Wow, this person and I had a conversation and we connected, I’m in love,” and then they’re absolutely devastated, destroyed and wrecked when that person dies (because oh yeah, a lot of people die). I’m just here rolling my eyes and thinking, pull yourself together. You knew this person for like a day. Everyone was so dramatic and emotional and it was just so annoying.

Now let’s go back to the “a lot of people die” thing. Yes, this series is full of death and dying and many of the secondary characters bite the dust and you literally won’t care at all. There’s nothing to make you like or become invested in any of these characters, so their deaths are meaningless to you. And of course, everyone who matters is miraculously alive by the end, isn’t that great? Rejoice!

Like I mentioned before, by the time I finally turned the last page of Immortal Reign, I felt like I had wasted all the time I invested into this series. Maybe just stick with Game of Thrones?

 

Morgan Rhodes: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

February 2018 Wrap-Up

Well lookie there, it’s the end of February already! I haven’t written a wrap-up post in quite a while but I suppose now is as good a time as any to remedy that. Unfortunately, if I go on about every book I read in February, I would be here a while: I read a total of 20 books!

Now, I’ve had quite a bit of time on my hands lately so this makes sense. I’ve only just recently started school but even that isn’t taking up too much of my time. My husband is going to be leaving for 4 months in March (he’s military so he’s going on a mission), which means I will be left alone with even more time on my hands. I’m going to knock this 100-book reading goal out in no time.

untitledFirst book I read was Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. This one was so much fun, and a vast improvement on the first DC Icons book by Leigh Bardugo (I’m sorry, queen.) I wrote a full review of this actually, so you can check that out here.

The-ForgettingNext up was a DNF, The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. I don’t typically write full reviews for DNF unless I feel obligated to (an arc copy) or if I feel like there’s a reason for the DNF that needed to be touched on.

I had very high hopes for this book. It had a very intriguing concept and a beautiful cover, but the execution was awful. I was so bored and turned off by the writing that about 20% of the way through, I couldn’t handle it anymore.

TOG-NYT-CoverMy first and only reread of the month of February was Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. This is one of my favorite series and I’m actually rereading one book a month in preparation for the release of the final installment in October of this year! I am so excited for the conclusion of this series but so sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite characters. Seeing as it’s been about 5 years since I read Throne of Glass for the first time, I thought it would be a good idea to reacquaint myself with the story once more.

SerenityTPBCoverAlso this month, I was on quite the graphic novel kick. I found some Firefly comics at my local library and absolutely had to check them out! There were four of them total, two I read in physical form and the other two I found digitally online. I binged the whole dang series this month, which wasn’t difficult since they were all very short. Still, it was a very sentimental read and it made me happy to see some of these characters again. The last book, Leaves on the Wind, was set after the events of Serenity, which was like a stab to the heart but a bandage all at once. If you’re a fan of the TV show Firefly, definitely check these out!

falling-kingdoms-morgan-rhodesContinuing with my Falling Kingdoms binge read, I finished Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm, books four and five in the series. I started this series in January and never reviewed it because I figured I would write a complete series review once I read Immortal Reign next month. I continue to have mixed feelings about the books, of the conclusion that while the story is very interesting, the characters are incredibly flat and I care about literally none of them. Oh, and the insta-love is real.

33784373Hunting Prince Dracula was a book I was excited to read this month but ended up being disappointed by. After the amazingness that was Stalking Jack the Ripper, I was so sure I was going to love the second book but was so wrong. Still, it wasn’t enough to scare me away from the rest of the series. Keep ’em coming, Maniscalco!

71fXyrRrXCLAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour was yet another DNF and a disappointment. Hunting Prince Dracula put me in a terrible slump and I chose a Morgan Matson book to hopefully pull me out of it. Sadly, I discovered that road trip books are not my thing, and this book only sunk me deeper. DNF’d at about the halfway mark.

36986066Worst Case by Beck Anderson is sadly another DNF for the month of February. (Hey, I’ve got a life. And I already make myself miserable, why do I want to force myself to read books that make me miserable, too?) I just wasn’t into the writing style or the characters. Couldn’t bring myself to finish.

25041504After You, the sequel to Me Before You, was picked up on a trial basis. Me Before You made me so angry, but I loved Lou’s character and wanted to see her happy and well. Unfortunately based on the opening chapters, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to like the direction the book took. I wanted to see Lou on a healing journey, not being friendly with Will’s long-lost teenage daughter. No, thank you.

9780349414256-328x480The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was a refreshing read. The romance was fun and the characters were real and this was a great way to get out of a slump. I’m not planning to review this due to some mature content that I skipped through (I’m not a fan of the smutty stuff, I’m here for the rest of it).

33158561Another book this month was Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. This had a very interesting concept but was altogether much too slow for me to handle. I’m a fan of much more fast-paced story telling, and while the flowery writing was beautiful, it put me to sleep in the end.

coverBizarre Romance was written by Audrey Niffenegger (author of the Time Traveler’s Wife) and was basically the weirdest, creepiest book I’ve ever read in my life. It was a series of short stories, some illustrated by Eddie Campbell, and they were freaking weird, dude. And not a good kind of weird, like a twisted kind of weird. It left me with a gross feeling in the pit of my stomach and ultimately, I left the last three stories unread because I couldn’t take it anymore. I won this ARC in a giveaway so I don’t know if I would have ever picked this up on my own. If you like wacky, out-of-this-world stories that end abruptly and creep you out, check this out.

51irO0dsQDLAnother (slightly less) creepy book I read was the Coraline graphic novel. I never liked this movie as a kid and thought it was way too dark, but I recently read The Graveyard Book, another graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, that I loved. So I figured I’d give this another shot, and if I ended up liking it, I told myself I’d try to watch the movie again now that I’m older. It was still quite creepy but without the Tim Burton vibes, it was much more tolerable. I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Graveyard Book but I’m glad I tried it out.

eliza-and-her-monstersEliza and Her Monsters was one I’ve been pretty excited to read and ended up having mixed feelings about it. I’m planning to review this soon, but I’m still trying to make up my mind about it.

DIG017563_1._SX1280_QL80_TTD_I read two more graphic novel/comics this month, the first being Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. This was actually and incredibly enjoyable and powerful Batman read which surprised me. I can’t say a whole lot about it, only that if you’re even remotely a DC or Batman fan that you should check it out.

9781250078285And the last book that I completed this month was Gone Rogue, the second volume in the Wire and Nerves graphic novel series. I absolutely loved these books and am so sad to see them end! Iko was such a fun character to get to know better and I’m just so thrilled with the way everything played out and ended. What another lovely installment in the Lunar Chronicles world!

There you have it folks, my ridiculous monthly wrap-up! I can’t wait to see what the rest of you have read in February! Let me know in the comments below. For now, have a great day!