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Lytherus Book Club: Falling Kingdoms review

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Hi all! Playing catch-up. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been seriously sick. But I’m excited to have some amazing summaries of these books by the end of the month and to feature our exclusive interview with author Morgan Rhodes!

Since this is our inaugural month for the book club I’m still working on getting out some kinks on the process. As I started taking notes on this story I realized that each chapter is incredibly complicated and I’ll basically be re-writing the book summary if I continued the way I did. So I decided to switch it up and do a detailed review of each book.

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! If you’re reading this, I’m assuming it’s because you’ve read book one (hopefully along with us!), so I don’t feel the need to hold back. I want to be able to discuss anything and everything.

In case you read Falling Kingdoms a while ago and need a refresher, here’s the official blurb:

falling kingdomsWar brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

First off, I LOVED this book. Absolutely loved. I enjoy books with a high fantasy feel, though they’re not always my first choice. But all the elements of this story made the book riveting.

Here’s what I loved:

  • The magic system. I really love elemental magic, and I enjoy when I come across a new way of interpreting it that feels fresh. I cannot wait to see what happens with the Kindred, especially since Cleo has the sorcerer’s ring.
  • The torment! Man, Morgan puts these characters through the RINGER! Especially Cleo, poor Cleo. It was like back to back miseries for her. Love is murdered. Sister dies. Dad is murdered. Kingdom falls. Magnus finds her and takes her into custody. So many feels for this girl. Also, speaking of feels, I really feel for Magnus. He’s kind of a jerk, yes, but mainly I think of him as a tortured soul. He seems to have some good in him, but there’s so much against him (mainly his horrible father) that he’s fighting an uphill battle. I’m really curious how his character will play out.
  • The amount of important characters. There are so many important people in this book. Each character’s story line is strong, and all woven together somehow, albeit loosely in some instances. But I have a feeling this will change as the series continues.

I want to go through each of the main characters and see what they have coming for them in the next book.

Cleo: The determination she shows at the end of the book is a precursor I’m sure to her mental state in book two. She’s lost pretty much everything (other than her two best friends), and yet she knows her destiny is to win her kingdom back. I’m a bit worried about the emotional stress she’s going to have to deal with in the aftermath of all the horrible things that happened to her so quickly. But I’m guessing she’ll surprise us and be stronger than even she thinks possible.

Magnus: He’s shown his card with his sister. Now what? She knows he loves her in more than a brotherly way, and I can’t wait to see what she does with this information. Is it wrong of me that I sort of want them to get together? I mean, she’s not actually his sister by blood. I like him, he’s the anti-hero, and I want him to be happy. I hope he’s able to get out from under the terrible thumb of his terrible father in book two.

Lucia: This girl is so lovely and sweet (except, you know, when her magic gets the better of her and she burns horrible witches to a blackened pulp). I’m interested in seeing if that continues as the second book goes on. She learned so much about herself in book one: she’s a sorceress (so, REALLY powerful), she’s adopted, and she’s being used as a tool for her dad, which was his plan all along. Of course, she needs to wake up first.

Jonas: I also really like Jonas. He’s kind of a badass, and vengeance is a strong motivator. I think he’ll end up doing big things, and I think he’ll end up dealing with his hateful feelings toward Cleo and coming to like her as a person.

My dream theory right now is that the Kindred are found, the kingdoms are united into one big kingdom, and Magnus, Cleo, and Jonas are the leaders. And they all get along. I know, this is probably super wishful thinking, but I had to lay it out there. What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these in the comments below. Who is your favorite character? What are you looking forward to the most?

Stay tuned for the summary of book two, Rebel Spring, coming soon! And don’t forget to submit your questions for Morgan in the comments!

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