Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 1
Rating: Troll

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? – Goodreads

As you can tell by my ratings, 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. Or maybe I should rec it to Tatum for the lulz.

28 comments on “Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

  1. Tatum Turtle January 3, 2013 1:36 pm

    I will kill you if you try to make me read this

    The ASOIAF stanning makes me so proud *wipes tear*

  2. Kat January 3, 2013 4:47 pm

    Troll– wow, that truly is terrible! This one seems to be the latest thing (even saw it for sale at Walmart, which means it’s gotta be popular). I was kinda sorta considering checking it out, but now I’m thinking definitely not. Like how you organized the review, and the Troll rating. :)

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 5:03 pm

      Yep, I’ve seen this around everywhere lately, and that’s why I wanted to pick it up. Thanks, Kat!

  3. Judith January 3, 2013 7:46 pm

    So I’ve read some good reviews on this one, but after reading your review I definitely added it to the NO-pile. Apparently this book has all of my least favorite things in books: insta-love, cliches, predictable plotlines and slow pacing. Ugh. But I love the Harry Potter Troll reference! XD

  4. Mel@Thedailyprophecy. January 4, 2013 12:11 am

    Oh wow. I was actually planning to buy this one as part of my haul for Christmas, but now I will get a copy from the library first (yup, still want to give it a try. You can’t get me away so easily from a book I was excited for :p) I’m sorry to hear that this one didn’t work out for you and it does sound bad..


    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 5:05 pm

      I hope you enjoy it more than I did, since a lot of people have really liked it 😀

  5. Ning January 4, 2013 12:41 am

    haha I had to read your review when I saw “troll”. I was super excited for this book, come on, look at the cover!! but I tried reading it, got through the first chapter, and didn’t really like the choppy writing style and dialogue. Some places sounded so corny and cliched. I’m glad I won it in a giveaway.

    Ning @ DABR

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 5:06 pm

      I’ve only read two books that I consider troll-worthy, so I guess it’s not too bad XD I adore the cover of this one too. Haha, yup, it was a big cliché.

  6. Bethany January 4, 2013 1:55 am

    I was debating whether or not to read Falling Kingdoms because it was on the cute Breathless Reads tour bookmark, but when I looked at the summary the book didn’t sound that interesting. Thanks for helping me make up my mind :)

  7. Braine TS January 4, 2013 2:01 am

    Oh wow, I think this is the first bad review I’ve read about this book. Sad to see you clearly lost time over this.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) January 5, 2013 5:08 pm

      I was surprised by how many great reviews this had received once I’d read it. Ah, well. :)

  8. Melody Simpson January 4, 2013 4:55 am

    Yikes! I wasn’t that interested in this book to begin with but now I am definitely not. Hate to say that but we can’t like them all.

  9. Katja Weinert January 4, 2013 9:16 pm

    Hurramph! I downloaded it last month, and was going to read it next week. I don’t like predictable.

  10. KeepCalmAndReadYA January 5, 2013 10:13 pm

    I am currently reading this book after reading Game Of Thrones.. I haven’t read much but Theon and Cleo are already getting on my nerves. I’ve just finished the part where the wine-killer’s son is killed and Theon’s over-protectiveness was annoying. Then Cleo called him handsome, and I was like “oh no, here we go again.”
    Great review. It’s a shame you don’t like it, but you seem to have a lot of good reasons why you don’t :)

  11. Christina January 7, 2013 3:06 pm

    Oh yuck! The reviews for this have been ALL over the place, but I am seriously not enthused by what I’m seeing here. I wanted it because of the comp to Cashore, but, seriously, those comparisons have done nothing but LIE TO ME.

    Instalove + needless incest + boring? Unfortunate. Also, the not using their awesome powers thing? What is with that? That was a big gripe for me with The Darkest Minds. Why have them if you rarely use them?!?!?!

  12. Danny Hamblin May 16, 2013 7:31 pm

    I just finished it. And I actually liked it. Could be that I’m just easily amused. God knows this book has been out long enough that many people have read it. And opinions vary according to what I have been reading. But I agree the characters weren’t as strong as I would have expected. And there certainly wasn’t enough magic though they lead you to believe there will be in the next book. All in all I would read the second book just in case it picks up but I do wish I would have actually read this before picking the book up. I wouldn’t have expected as much :(

  13. Emily Rubin July 19, 2013 4:51 am

    Actually, I liked this book. Morgan Rhodes talks about how it’s her first attempt at anything this high fantasy and I think it is endearing to watch her writing grow as the book goes on. Cleo was not horrible. She was spoiled yes, but yet still cared for those around her and the consequences of her choices. Although, there is truly nothing I can do to defend the instalove between her and Theon because that’s just what it was. I think that the story developed enough and the plot is being set up so that maybe her sequels will be a lot better. All in all though, it wasn’t a terrible book. It’s just Rhodes first try at high fiction. Usually first tries don’t get published, so the fact that hers is means a lot.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) July 19, 2013 7:52 am

      Well I’m glad you liked it, but that doesn’t mean that Cleo wasn’t a horrible character in my book, and that doesn’t mean I can’t think that the book was terrible. Different people like different things. I also don’t really see what this being a fantasy debut has anything to do with the discussion, since there are lots of debuts that I have and do love. This is clearly not one of them.

  14. Acasia Smith December 7, 2013 11:19 pm

    I read both Falling Kindoms and Rebel Springs, and I enjoyed both. U know who Lucia is and what she is in the beginning so that way the rest of the story isn’t confusing. If u thought is was slow, then ur attention span must be that of a ten year old, as this story was meant to be drawn out for detail. The characters are meant to appear as regular people who can only do so much, but are at least trying. This book was written for teens, so if u have a problem with love triangles and quick romances then u obviously shouldn’t be reading this is the first place. Rhodes is a great author overal, and as this being her first try for fantasy, it wasn’t half bad. Find a new genre, and don’t write a ranting review about a book u didn’t like in the first place.

    • Tatum Turtle December 8, 2013 10:18 pm

      are you okay? would you perhaps enjoy a soothing tea? these are some very strong opinions about a novel that isn’t very good at all, i’m afraid. have you considered returning said book and exchanging it for a better ya fantasy? or anything really, like a plant. the bar for ‘things that are better than falling kingdoms’ is quite low, you see.

    • Lauren Turtle December 8, 2013 10:25 pm

      I find your comment quite troubling, for several reasons: what on earth makes you think that love triangles and quick romances are staples in books written for teens? The ‘instalove’ trope is quite prevalent, that’s true, but it’s by no means an absolute must for a teen genre book, and people are quite within their rights to dislike a book that doesn’t bother to try anything else. I also don’t understand why you feel the need to insult Amber? This is her blog, where she writes her opinions. If you have a different one, great! Go on your own blog and tell people your thoughts. But to come on here and insult someone just because of a different opinion just makes you look like a giant bag of dicks. So I have a different proposal for you: how about, Amber sticks with this genre, and continues to write ranting reviews when she comes across books she doesn’t like, and you go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve just done, okay sweetie?

  15. jorden white January 3, 2014 7:22 am

    I thought this book was really good. Everyone has their own tick when it comes to books. I was a little annoyed by the instalove but other than that it was a all around good book. The second one was better in all cases though. I do have to give it that.

  16. raeven cardreon January 13, 2014 5:23 am

    this book and its sequel had their ups and downs. overall…they werent half bad. i feel as though this series had a developing story line that actually becomes complicated. i must admit though some aspects of the books were slightly predictable…but some things were slightly surprising. i feel as though some improvement would have been necessary. but i think it was ok…when the third book comes i feel as though we would see much improvement. so…just chance it. its similar to others i read where the forst book was shabby but the series got better later.

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