Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
I forget where I got the recommendation for this book from but when I saw the physical book my reaction was ‘Oh no, that looks like a hardcore fantasy book, I’m not going to like that’. I almost didn’t even read it but I am very glad that I did.
Basically this book is about three kingdoms that decide to go to war. It is told from four different perspectives throughout the three kingdoms with interjections from a fifth character in a magical separate world.
I ultimately really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the complexity of the characters although some of their behavior/realizations were a bit too much for me.
My biggest problem with this book was how sad it was. I mean, I guess this is a spoiler but nobody ends happy in this book. Nobody! except for maybe some side characters that I didn’t like at all. It was so frustrating how people got so close to what they wanted only to have it ripped from them. I guess that means I cared about the characters.
Oh yeah, I guess I should explain that this is a fantasy book but basically there are witches who can do some magic by killing stuff and getting power from it and then there supposedly are sorcerers who can do lots of magic but they don’t really exist. Also there’s this mythical other realm where everyone is magical and they ‘watch’ the human world through the eyes of hawks. They don’t really play much of a role in this book but I’m assuming they will become more important later on in the series (yes, this is a series and I liked this book enough to get the next one. I think the series is over- I really hope so- nope, I am very wrong, it is definitely not over which means I probably will not finish the series….).
It did take me a little bit to get into this book, but once I cared about the characters I appreciated what was going on.
Part of the way through the book I realized that this is technically a teen fantasy book but I feel like that in no way limited it. If anything I would call this a rather mature teen book, but being a teen book does mean that although sex and lust and such are hinted at we don’t get anything graphic. along those lines there was one relationship in the book that made me rather uncomfortable but it also makes the characters uncomfortable so I guess that’s a good thing?
This book does have a fair amount of politics in it but I was totally (I think) able to follow along. Also at one point in the story I feel like most of the characters don’t totally know what is going on either so it’s all ok. Speaking of this part in the story, I will say that although this is a series and the book definitely ended with many questions unanswered, it didn’t end on a frustrating cliffhanger or anything like that. It did end with everything a mess but not in a super annoying way which I appreciated.
Overall this book surprised me and I really enjoyed it. If you are into fantasy or really just political warish books but mostly books with good complex characters, then I would recommend this. Somebody described this as game of thrones for teens. Not sure if that’s really a good thing but I do think it probably includes many similar elements to game of thrones but probably slightly simpler, but I wouldn’t know since I haven’t read game of thrones and I am not about to.
Reading over this again I realize that I didn’t really explain this book very well at all but it is very much a character led book despite all the action and really this book is all about getting to know these very interesting (and different) characters and cultures and how they function (or don’t) in this magical world where most magic is illegal.
#37 of 2017