I decided to do two mini reviews of books three and four in the Falling Kingdoms series because as much as I know you all loving reading my reviews of this series…I felt like it would get a bit repetitive. These reviews will contain spoilers for the previous books in the series so proceed with caution. If you are wondering whether or not you should read this fantastic series (hint: you should!!) check out the review of the first book here.
Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes
In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred – the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic…
• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic – all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica… but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.
This series just keeps getting better and better! There are so many players in this story and the plot is growing increasingly complex. I have no idea where Morgan Rhodes is taking this story and that is part of why it is so great!
While Rebel Spring hinted at some Watcher action, Gathering Darkness brings it into full swing. We see more scenes from the Sanctuary, and get hints as to what Melenia is actually planning. We also see the relationship continue to develop between Alexius and Lucia, although we learn that he is still hiding secrets from her.
Magnus and Cleo are as bitter as ever towards each other but they definitely have a kind of aggressive flirting going on so I just know something will happen eventually 😀 Magnus and Cleo continue to search for the Kindred, albeit separately. They both think it is the key to ruling their respective kingdoms- Cleo to taking back Auranos and Magnus overthrowing his father.
We also finally see Jonas execute some successful rebel plans in this book! Poor Jonas has just had terrible luck and a rash attitude in these books, I was relieved to see him connect with Cleo, think ahead and actually successfully execute a plan for once. We also meet a new character who joins Jonas’ crew, Felix, who I will admit I didn’t love but he is actually growing on me now.
Finally, we have some new players in this story! The Kraeshians, Amara and Ashur travel to Mytica from their supposed richer and superior kingdom. Amara proves to be an incredibly interesting and yet morally terrible character, while I actually really grew to like Ashur and his budding relationship with Nic. After that ending I know we will be seeing much more from Kraeshia.
The events of this book really center around the various groups searching for the Kindred and eventually facing the consequences of looking for them. We finally find out a little more about the Kindred and I think it will be terrifying to see how that plays out in the next few books!
Overall, another great book with an explosive ending! Needless to say, I immediately dove into Frozen Tides 🙂
Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes
Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.
CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.
MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.
LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.
JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.
KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.
Another great installment! I haven’t binged a longer series in a while and I am thoroughly enjoying the intricate world-building and character development that comes along with it. The stakes get higher and our main characters become more complex and legitimate contenders to rule not only Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos- but also the kingdom of Kraeshia.
Now let’s get to the important stuff. After that KISS between Magnus and Cleo I was hoping their relationship would be more…amiable. I was wrong. Magnus is as sour as ever and don’t get me wrong, I adore Magnus and his tortured heart but after him and Cleo continued to argue throughout most of the book I was thinking..enough already! The ending redeemed itself so I look forward to seeing how everything progresses in the next book. In terms of character development, Cleo is a scheming, intelligent princess and I love watching her grow. She will make a great queen someday! Magnus has some growing to do, but I think he is finally realizing he is not his father.
Lucia is running around with Kyan, the fire Kindred. I still don’t care for Lucia much. It just seems a little unbelievable that she is so broken and consumed by power. I mean come on, Cleo lost her entire family and is still fighting- Lucia lost her crush and she’s totally consumed by her grief? Anyway, her powers are interesting and there was quite the intriguing development with her! Then there’s Jonas, poor Jonas. He just gets beaten down over and over again! I’m hoping things start to turn around for him. When each of these kingdoms eventually need a ruler, maybe he will be a contender for Paelsia?
The ending was aaamazing! I can officially say I have no idea what will happen next! If you enjoyed the magic, relationships, scheming and pure unpredictability of the first three books you will not be disappointed with Frozen Tides. I cannot wait to get my hands on Crystal Storm!