(Image and description from Goodreads)
Date of Publication: December 15, 2015
Date Read: December 25, 2015 – April 24, 2015
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.
My rating: ★★★★☆
I’m very upset by the fact that I was not able to finish this book sooner. I hate reading a book over a long period of time because I end up forgetting the beginning (with the horrid memory I have), which usually leads to a lower rating.
Let’s start off with what I didn’t like about this book:
It’s not that it was slow, per say, but during the first 60% of this book nothing really took me by surprise. But, now that I think about it, maybe I’m already so used to this series that nothing shocks me anymore. Like a certain thing that happened to a certain person – I feel like it should have shocked me, but didn’t. Anyway, what I’m saying is that while the story didn’t necessarily drag, the beginning wasn’t memorable, either. Again, I also have a bad long-term memory, which helps nothing.
There’s also just SO MUCH going on that sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with all the subplots and remember all the end-goals of the characters. It can get confusing, especially when there are so many POVs thrown in there, some of which don’t get as much page time as the main 4 characters. Personally, I would have liked it if the book had been confined to the POVs of the main 4, but I’ve learned to live with the different perspectives, so it’s really not too big a deal.
And now, the good:
This book was heavy with political intrigue and betrayal and suspense, and I could feel that while I read. I’m so annoyed by not knowing who to trust, which is probably exactly how the characters are feeling, so A+ on bringing out my emotions and making me feel things.
And without spoiling things: MY BABIES. The only 2 characters I really care about, finally canon. Yes yes yes yes yes.
But what’s Morgan going to do to my babies? I’m so scared.
Anyway, as you can tell I am still very much in love with the characters. I have a particular fondness for 2 of them, obviously, but I still enjoy how each of them is written very much. In fact, Morgan has this knack for making me understand why certain characters – who I otherwise dislike – do what they do. I mean, “cool motive, still murder”, but she brings out the humanity in all of them, and reminds us that the difference between what’s Good and what’s Evil isn’t clear-cut. They all have their end-goals, they all have stories, and there isn’t necessarily a hero in this story, just a bunch of people who are doing whatever it takes to get what they want.
And that character development! So much of it! These characters are definitely different people from who they were in the first book, but they also went through great changes just in this one! And it’s not rushed, unrealistic character development: it’s the kind of believable, slow change that takes you by surprise when you realize it has happened.
One of my favourite parts was the world building. We finally got a glimpse of the world outside of Mytica, not just the landscapes but the cultures as well. You know me, I’m the anthropology student who’s a sucker for learning about different cultures.
While the beginning wasn’t great, the last 40% was much better, more interesting, more shocking. I still kind of can’t believe some of that happened!
Overall: another good book in my favourite series, and I cannot wait for Crystal Storm!