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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting to read more
The storyline is of three distinct lands, and three distinct peoples who share a continent and a forgotten magical past. I liked the character development and the way we see the leading players from each other’s perspectives as well as their own. The struggles of Magnus whose humanity is being buried by his over bearing father who is the King of the North and his...
Published 13 months ago by Clive Butterfield

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Falling Kingdoms
The death of a wine seller's son sparks a war between three kingdoms, and four different young people, Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia are caught in the centre of this conflict. I felt I should have liked Falling Kingdoms, but I found it was boring and did not interest me, as the plot seemed very obvious and predictable. I could not connect to any of the characters as they...
Published 8 months ago by Amethyst Bookwyrm


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Falling Kingdoms, 7 Dec 2013
The death of a wine seller's son sparks a war between three kingdoms, and four different young people, Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia are caught in the centre of this conflict. I felt I should have liked Falling Kingdoms, but I found it was boring and did not interest me, as the plot seemed very obvious and predictable. I could not connect to any of the characters as they all seem very stereotypical. Falling Kingdoms is marketed as a YA Game of Thrones, but I am not a fan of either TV series or books, so people who do like it may like this book more. I did not enjoy this book and did not finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Predictable, and Sexist., 21 Aug 2013
By 
Ginny (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Falling Kingdoms (Razorbill Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Spoilers below.)

The three kingdoms of Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia may have been at peace for many years, but tensions are rising. Paelsia struggles with poverty and exploitation from both its neighbours, and when a foolish nobleman from Auranos kills one of their people, Paelsia joins forces with the cruel and cunning king of Limeros, who sees this as an opportunity to take out his rival. The children of these lands are drawn unwillingly into this political battle. Princess Cleo, daughter of the Auranos king, must leave her life of luxury in search of a magic long forgotten. Desperate to avenge his brother, Jonas finds himself leading the Paelsian rebels. Princess Lucia of Limeros discovers that she has supernatural powers her father wants to control, whilst her brother Magnus must choose between ending up like his father or the love that could be his salvation - if it wasn't forbidden. In these three kingdoms no-one is safe from treachery, politics, or love.
Falling Kingdoms has been praised as "George R.R. Martain for young adults". Heed my warning, and don't be fooled by this: A Song of Ice and Fire this book is not. What it is is a predictable and, quite frankly, boring mess that promotes a sexist idea a what a woman should be and is patronising to teen readers. At times it felt like the book was trying to live up to the ASoIaF comparison - there's even a incestuous unrequited love from Magnus to his sister Lucia. (Only, wait! No, it's ok, she's actually adopted so it's all good. Incest? Eww, don't you know this books for kids? What's wrong with you?) Though Magnus began as a very interesting character, grappling with the desire for Lucia he knew was wrong whilst also trying to be a good brother, and son to his evil father, but once Lucia rejects him he becomes 'cold' and just as two-dimensional as the rest of the cast. Also, it seems that this means that Lucia must 'save' Magnus in the later books from his evil father. (How? By falling in love with him, of course! It's all women are good for, after all.)

This problem, however, was just the tip of the iceberg compared to the waste that was Princess Cleo. Spoilt, selfish, predictable, but of course beautiful, and oh-so-special, Cleo is a Mary Sue at her worst. The forbidden romance between her and her guard was obvious from the moment she compares him to a drunken lord, and this was the first chapter. Watching her 'struggle' with this 'burden' of loving someone she shouldn't was just plain boring to read. But the absolute worst was the scene where Cleo has a moment where she realises she is just a political puppet being used by others if she continues to let them, and that everyone sees her as a spoilt little girl. Yet, instead of standing up for herself, she decides not to interfere or change because 'she might get in Daddy's way'. This is unbelievably sexist, yet this series is clearly meant to be the story of how Cleo becomes a strong, brave Queen.

I was not impressed with Falling Kingdoms in the slightest, and will not be reading any this series or anything from this author again.
1 star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting to read more, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: Falling Kingdoms (Razorbill Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
The storyline is of three distinct lands, and three distinct peoples who share a continent and a forgotten magical past. I liked the character development and the way we see the leading players from each other’s perspectives as well as their own. The struggles of Magnus whose humanity is being buried by his over bearing father who is the King of the North and his feelings for his sister, I would hope there remains some good in him after all. The realisation of Jonas that his believed enemy is just the opposite and the determination of Cleo that there is some good out there somewhere plus the many minor characters really bring this story to life.
I can’t recommend it highly enough, and wait with baited breath for the next book. It’s a very good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Falling down, 24 Feb 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I get the distinct impression that Morgan Rhodes wanted to write a sort of young-adult version of "A Song of Ice And Fire" -- violence, frequent death, political clashes, and some (discreetly non-explicit) sexual themes.

And in that way, "Falling Kingdoms" is a decent debut for this author. It has a very well-plotted concept that promises to make an intriguing high fantasy series, but it also suffers from a lot of flaws that budding writers are often plagued with. It's a decent debut, but Rhodes needs some more polishing for the story to become excellent.

There are three kingdoms -- wealthy Auranos, impoverished and superstitious Paelsia, and brutal Limeros. When a drunken Auranian nobleman kills a Paelsian boy in front of Princess Cleo, it inadvertantly sparks off an excuse for war, causing Paelsia and Limeros to form an alliance to take down the country they hate and envy.

Cleo is struggling with her own problems: an engagement to a blackmailing cad, her growing love for a guard, and the illness that is slowly killing her sister. But her attempts to chase down a legend take her into the heart of the blossoming war, and bring her face-to-face with Jonas -- the brother of the man her fiance killed.

In Limeros, Prince Magnus' forbidden love for his sister Lucia takes an unexpected twist when he finds out that she is the subject of a prophecy -- a legendary sorceress who may become the Avatar... sorry, bring together all the elemental magics (earth, air, fire and water) and restore magic to the world. And the cruel King Gaius intends to use her to bring down Auranos.

The verdict? It's... okay.

Rhodes spends a lot of time sketching out the different cultures, back-history and mythology, and deftly weaving them together. There are a different layers to the conflict -- aside from the mere clash of kingdoms, there are also personal hatreds and even a mystical, religious dimension to the conflict.

And for fans of more mature storytelling, there is a lot of blood, death and implied sex (though nothing explicit, just mentions of it). The whole thing explodes in the final third, where Rhodes rushes us through the ugliness of a battlefield -- lots of disembowelments and stabbings.

However... Rhodes is a first-time writer, and it shows. Her prose is strong and muscular, but it has some rough patches -- repetition (take a drink every time Cleo is threatened and/or captured) and too much TELLING instead of SHOWING.

And it could use a bit more embellishment. One scene has Cleo having a nightmare about being drowned in blood by the murdered boy... but you don't FEEL the fear and horror of it. It needed more atmosphere and detail.

But Rhodes gives a lot of care to her expansive cast -- a rebellious princess who manages to avert the usual tropes, a tormented young man hardening into an ice prince, a fiery revolutionary, and even a Watcher who... just watches. Lucia is a bit of a purity Sue, but she isn't too bad as a "chosen one" character. And there is a vast supporting cast of kings, guards, peasants, barbarian chieftains, kindly old ladies and scheming witches. A lot of people die, and not always the ones you expect.

"Falling Kingdoms" has the skeleton of a great epic fantasy, but Morgan Rhodes needs to smooth out some of the rough spots before it can fully blossom. But this is something to keep your eye on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Choose your side. Kingdoms will fall.", 7 July 2013
"Choose your side. Kingdoms will fall."

Falling Kingdoms falls under an unfamiliar genre to me, unlike anything I've read before - it was fresh and I loved it.

My comfort zone, genre-wise, lies with dystopian novels but I was determined to give Falling Kingdoms a go as it fitted all criteria when I searched for a novel based on my love for programmes such as Pillars Of The Earth, World Without End and Merlin. I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed, quite the opposite actually.

Falling Kingdoms is a story built around the solidity of 3 Kingdoms but is mainly the workmanship of the characters - each strong and distinct - as well as their varying beliefs.

As a whole, I'm not a fan of 3rd person (which this novel is written in) but I was so absorbed in this enthralling story that I hardly noticed it at all.

Another concern I had, which this book quickly overcame, was that I would become overwhelmed and confused with the load of characters. This certainly was not a problem; after being a few chapters in you know who is who and what they do like the back of your hand - BUT if any confusion does arise, there's a handy cast list and map for all 3 kingdoms located at the start of the novel.

The narrative (though in 3rd person) flips between the 3 kingdoms, following the perspectives of differing characters (mainly those of the princess, rebel and sorceress mentioned in the blurb). I found myself enjoying every element and perspective of this novel, never once was I bored or wishing for the plot to hurry on.

Rhodes created an outstanding world - one so vivid in my imagination with an array of strong-headed and unique characters. The plot never failed to keep you engaged.

I surprisingly loves this book and would definitely recommend it. I can't wait for the sequel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 9 May 2013
Read the original review here: [...]

INTRODUCTION

I was drawn to this book by its cover. I didn't know what to expect and I thought that, as I got the book for free, I might as well ask for it. I also didn't expect it to be fantasy or as...odd as it was.

Falling Kingdoms is a book filled with war, conspiracies, adventure and love, each balanced in the right way. It is a really good book, and the world of Mytica seems so magical.

CHARACTERS

Cleiona "Cleo" Bellos: She is the princess of the southern kingdom, Auranos. To me, she didn't seem like a very well-rounded character. I struggled to like her to begin with, and found her quite annoying, but, as the story moved on, I was able to love her a little. She just seemed a little naive about the world.

Aron Lagaris: He is a court noble and Cleo's intended. He came across as completely arrogant and witless, drinking most of the time and 'accidentally' killing someone, which results in a full-blown war.

Nicolo "Nic" Cassian: The king's squire and friend of Cleo. I found Nic's character likable, just because he seemed more well-rounded than all the others and made mistakes, which he quickly made up for. He is a good friend to Cleo and stands by her no matter what.

Jonas Agallon: He's the brother of a murdered peasant and his thirst for revenge against Auranos sparks the revolution. He seems like a completely horrible character to begin with, but by the end, it seems that he will play a much lager part in the next book.

Magus and Lucia Damora: Brother and sister and royalty to Limeros. They have a strange relationship that I'll let you read for yourself.

KEY POINTS

The beginning of the story (excluding the prologue) is very exciting. You just get to know the characters and then they jump into the action. It's a very good way to start a story.

Cleo's relationship with her sister was one of the best parts of the book. The clearly look out for each other and when something bad happened at the end, I felt devastated If you haven't noticed already, I'm trying to keep this almost spoiler-free.

I found that the Cleo x Theon (Cleo's bodyguard) moments were very peculiar. One moment, they hardly know each other, the next, they're in love with each other. Theon's character seemed very two-dimensional but I still felt bad for Cleo when their relationship came to an...end.

The POV (Point Of View, for those who don't know) changing annoyed me. I skimmed over most of the chapters from Limeros as I found them not needed in the story until the end, where the story ends on a high. I would have liked it a lot better if we just had one or two POVs at the most; three just seems too jumpy.

I found that Morgan Rhodes applied the right amount of action and anticipation to this novel. I was always on the edge of my seat and by time I finished the book, I had fallen off of my seat. All the characters had their flaws and it was interesting to see them grow throughout the book.

CONCLUSION

This book is brilliant.

I have no more to say.

I want to read the next now.

And I gave it four stars.

:D
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5.0 out of 5 stars FALLING KINGDOMS, 13 Mar 2013
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very readable, would reccomend to all readers of the fantasy genre. I will certainly keep a lookout for any future books by her
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, 3 Jan 2013
By 
As you can tell by my rating, I didn't enjoy this book in the slightest. I was looking for a good fantasy with strong characters, but I didn't get that with Falling Kingdoms. The following review is kinda all over the place, because my thoughts are still a jumbled mess. I've tried to make it organised but... well, see for yourself what a poor job I've done of it!

Warning: Ranting ahead...

Lack of Mystery: If you didn't know that Lucia was going to be "the chosen one", then I don't know what book you were reading because it was made pretty clear from the synopsis and first chapter. This book was utterly predictable, and since everything was set out on the table already it was boring to read.

Sloooowwwww: Things happened at 60% that should have been happening at 30%. It was ridiculously dull, and took ages to get to the action. Unlike A Song of Ice and Fire, the political scenes are not that interesting.

Not Enough Magic: Where were the elemental powers? It was the one thing that made me pick this book up so soon. I ADORE elemental powers in YA. But in Falling Kingdoms they barely made an appearance. It was so disappointing, and I felt rather ripped off.

Incest: Magnus had feelings for his (adopted) sister. He tries to hide them, but it doesn't do much good. I wouldn't have minded this so much if it had been believable - and if Game of Thrones hadn't done it first - but instead it was ridiculous. To top it off, their relationship was BORING. There was barely any drama there, aside from Magnus being in love with Lucia.

Cleo: Cleo is quite honestly one of the worst characters I have ever read about in YA. She's an awful, AWFUL character. She is meant to be fiery and strong, but instead she's simply a rude cow. She was spoilt, and wanted everything done her own way. And, of course, she's so beautiful that she has three guys after her. It was overkill. She also had a deep secret, which really wasn't DEEP.

Cleo x Theon: This ridiculous instalove had me rolling my eyes. I was tempted to give up as soon as Theon said he was falling for Cleo, since they'd barely said three sentences to each other. How did it even happen? They had two interactions, and then were suddenly in love with each other! Theon kisses her, and suddenly she's head over heels for him. What?! Are his kisses really that good?!

Jonas: Jonas was the only thing I liked (using that term lightly) about the book. He set off to avenge his brother, and was the only one that seemed to get anything done. My liking for him would probably change if I were to read the upcoming sequel (which I won't be doing, by the way) since he's probably going to fall in love with Cleo as well.

Well, there you have it. A choppy rant on Falling Kingdoms. I won't be reading the sequel or recommending this to anyone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC Game of Thrones for TEENS (without the hardcore bits), 19 Dec 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Falling Kingdoms (Razorbill Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
You need to know that I have been lusting after this book since I first heard about it, what seems like eons ago now. I mean, a YA story aimed at Games of Thrones fans? HELL YEAH!!! I actually ended up reading a completely legitimate A4 size manuscript of this (that's letter size for the Americans) and I took it to work to read on night shifts. If that isn't commitment, I don't know what is! I looked forward to my break every night when I'd settle in for the next instalment and time would just fall away. Falling Kingdoms is an epic fantasy that can be summed up in two distinct and meaningful words: devastatingly good. That is to say that whilst it will devastate you, you'll love every minute of reading.

In the book, there are three main kingdoms that make up Mytica, a land that actually looks a lot like the United Kingdom. There's the icy Limeros in the North, resource poor but wine rich Palaesia in the middle and the affluent Auranos in the South. The story is told from the point of view of four different characters, representing each of the kingdoms, and as they edge toward the brink of war, their lives become intertwined. I actually wrote a bunch of stuff about the plot but then deleted it all because really, what's the point in spoiling all the surprises for you? Just know that Morgan is not afraid to throw adversity in the face of her characters and she can be ruthless, you have been warned.

I have to say that at first, the cast of characters appeared vast and intimidating. It does take about 50 pages or so to settle into the story and understand what's going on but it's totally worth it. I did appreciate the map and character list/description at the beginning of the book and while I had to flip back and forth between the story and the list a few times at first, I then found that I didn't need to. Also, here's a little tip that helped me to remember Mytica - I memorised LPA in my head so I would remember that Limeros was in the North, Palaesia was in the middle and Auranos was in the South.

Let's talk about the characters that make up the four viewpoints in the book...

JONAS (from Palaesia)was no more than a plot device to me at first, just a guy hell bent on avenging his brother's death until I read on and now I know there is more to him and I'm curious to see this in future books. Jonas' character subtly changes and I saw hints of a spark between him and another character who shall remain nameless but I can't wait to see what happens with that storyline.

CLEO is the princess of Auranos, and a sister with a good heart. I've heard others call her whiny or spoilt but I didn't think that at all. She may make some stupid decisions at times but it comes from a good place and she is definitely the bravest character I've ever known. I have no words for what happens to her other than ASFG!%^&$%^&.

LUCIA is the princess of Limeros and a girl with a secret so big that it can't be possibly be contained, regardless of the consequences. She's a good girl and a dedicated sister to Magnus but I know there is more to come from her. So much more.

Last but not least is MAGNUS, the prince of Limeros and son of the merciless Blood King. He is I think my favourite character and probably because he is a tormented soul who also carries a devastating secret that will likely haunt him forever. I can't even. All I can say is that I am hoping beyond hope that things work out for Magnus as I couldn't bear it if it didn't.

All in all, I can't stop thinking about this book and I might just be a tiny bit obsessed with it LOL. I'm practically beside myself thinking that I'm going to have to wait until Autumn 2013 for the next installment although I am pleased to hear that it is part of a four book series. Morgan Rhodes is of course a pseudonym for Michelle Rowen and this is the first book of hers that I've read. Rest assured that this is by no means the last and she's definitely made a fan girl out of me. This book is so epic that The CW needs to snatch this one up IMMEDIATELY and make it into a TV series or as I like to call it, INSTANT HIT.

Falling Kindgoms is one of my favourite books of 2012 and you should all go and buy it immediately.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Falling Kingdoms (Razorbill Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Not really my cup of tea
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