Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
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? (Summary from Goodreads.com)
"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.