Endorphins, adrenaline, and other things related to high fantasy: Falling Kingdoms

fallingkingdomsTitle:                           Falling Kingdoms

Author:                      Morgan Rhodes

Genre:                        YA, high fantasy

Publication Date:     December 11, 2012

Publisher:                 Razorbill

Pages:                         432

Recipe Variables:    Some perceived sexual situations and suggestions

Series:                        Falling Kingdoms: Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring (TBR)

Book Blurb:

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


In the age of multi-tasking, sitting down to relax and read is an endorphin rush much like I experience shortly after a Lindt Lindor truffle explodes across the back of my palate. However, that heady endorphin high quickly recedes into an adrenaline blast of terror when I discover that the opening page is a compendium of information that keeps tabs on who is who, where is where, and good-god can I just start reading, please? However, once I started this high fantasy by Morgan Rhodes, I luckily found myself engaged and lost to an action-packed story, only occasionally stopping to go, “Wait. What? Who the hell is that?” then flipping to the front for a quick refresher course in the genealogy of Mythica, the land created by Rhodes.

Said land is divided into three kingdoms and of course, war and intrigue is a’ coming. The multiple young characters are versatile in their quirks, qualities and genders, and I had fun chasing them around the countryside as their kingdoms fell apart. The setting/era was similar to titles such as Throne of Glass and Grave Mercy, but young female assassins weren’t woven into the fabric of this particular tale. There was still plenty of love, blood, and mayhem, though, to keep me occupied.

Considering the story was fantasy, I appreciated the fact that it didn’t delve into a long, boring outline of some new religion; the focus stayed on the characters. However, I think the belief system will probably be tackled in the next installment, Rebel Spring which arrives in book stores December 3, 2013. The only stumble I noticed in the writing was the author bouncing back and forth between modern phrasing and the old, stilted language of yore. Hopefully that, and a simpler character key in the front, will accompany the sequel, hence, keeping my endorphin levels exactly where they should be—on a chocolate high.

4 squares review copy4 Squares

Tasty enough for seconds (like reading the sequel, yo’!)


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