Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Title:  Falling Kingdoms
Author:  Morgan Rhodes
Genre:  YA fantasy
Pages:  412

Rating:  C-/D+

Synopsis from  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?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everyone's calling this book the "young-adult Game of Thrones", and I agree with them, in that the book just feels like a watered-down attempt at mimicking Martin's popular series.  After reading so much cliched writing in the first few chapters, I knew by page 45 that I didn't want to finish this book, but I forced myself to, just to make sure it wasn't going to miraculously get better.  It didn't.  

Falling Kingdoms has so many characters that they actually have a Who's-Who guide in the front of the book.  Unfortunately, most of these characters are two-dimensional and flat or extremely stereotyped, or worst of all, their personalities would randomly flip completely around at points.  I really felt that there were only one or two characters who got any actual development.  And I really dislike the ridiculous romances that spring up between characters that barely know each other.  Especially ones that are only thrown in there just as a minor plot point.

The story itself had a couple of exciting moments.  There were battles, fighting, and...and... I literally finished the book an hour ago and cannot remember what was in it.  That tells you just how memorable it wasn't.

The author bio in the back of the book states that under a different pen name, Rhodes is actually a national bestselling author of paranormal novels, and this is her first attempt at high fantasy.  Well, it's obvious that she's never done this before, and I think in the future she should stick with what she knows.  C-

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