In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.
Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….
Falling Kingdoms was a pretty good read! I tried not to go in with any expectations due to the mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was pretty slow for the first half, but it did pick up and I can tell we are just scraping the surface of this complex world.
Yes, there’s a lot of characters and kingdoms to keep track of but Rhodes approaches it well and I found myself quickly immersed in the story and did not have much difficulty keeping track of the characters. While I enjoyed the story, it definitely felt like a “first book” in a long series- much of the first half of the book was spent getting to know the characters, becoming acquainted with the different kingdoms and setting the political climate. The title says it all, but this book is broadly about tension between kingdoms that eventually leads to war. There is also a mysterious, overarching magical story line occurring with the elusive Watchers. We are only introduced to these characters but I have a feeling they will play a larger role in books to come.
There are three main kingdoms in this world: Auranos, Paelsia, and Limeros. Auranos is easily the wealthiest of the three, with a lush and beautiful landscape, Auranos’ citizen seem happy and content. In contrast, Paelsia is the poorest of the regions. Their land makes it difficult to grow crops, and what little land they do have is used for wine to distribute to the other empires. This region is in poverty and neither of the two wealthier kingdoms seem to care or notice. Finally, in Limeros the current king is known for his bloodshed and cruelty, and he seeks even more power. We meet out four protagonists within each of these kingdoms so we see first hand how each kingdom interacts with one another, which I personally really enjoyed.
Magnus: Crown prince of Limeros, Magnus tries to emulate his father with his steely resolve, but he has a soft heart. He also has a secret crush on his sister, Lucia. What is up with this sibling love?! As the reader, we know that Lucia is not blood related to Magnus, but Magnus doesn’t find out until later. I thought that was a bit weird but didn’t detract from the plot too much. Aside from that, Magnus was an extremely interesting character. I loved seeing the contrast between how people viewed him and what was actually going on in his head.
Lucia: Lucia is the adopted daughter of the royal family of Limeros and Magnus’ sister. We learn from the prologue that Lucia is actually a sorceress and the king believes she has enough magic to sway the way. There is a prophecy about her as well, although we don’t learn many details. I liked Lucia, but she wasn’t an incredibly enthralling character for me. She’s pretty, has magic, and is weirded out by the fact that her brother is in love with her (I mean, its weird).
Cleo: Cleo is a sassy, headstrong and slightly spoiled princess of Auranos. Her biggest worry in the beginning of the book is being forced to marry someone she doesn’t even like. Cleo was by far my favorite character in this book. Her character transformed the most- from a spoiled princess to someone hardened by tragedy with a newfound responsibility on her shoulders. Her determination is admirable, and I can’t wait to see what happens to her later in the series.
Jonas: Jonas lives in Paelsia, and he wants revenge on the spoiled royals of Auranos. Why should he live in poverty when the residents of Auranos want for nothing? Jonas was pretty angry most of the time (rightfully so) and jumped at any chance to be part of the fighting. He’s young, but passionate about what he believes in. I haven’t quite formed an opinion of Jonas yet, but the ending certainly made things interesting!
Overall, Falling Kingdoms is an exciting mix of three kingdoms battling for power with a larger, magical plot that we’ve only just started to delve into. I’m intrigued by the Watchers and am excited to see what part they will play in future books. My only complaint is that it took me the entire book to grow somewhat attached to any of the characters, so the many bloody deaths that occurred didn’t bother me all that much. I’m sure there are more to come! I already requested Rebel Spring on Overdrive, so I am excited to continue on with the series.