Review: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) – Morgan Rhodes

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In Falling Kingdoms, four teens become important as war breaks out across all three countries of Mytica. The missing magic is supposedly draining from their world, and only one can restore it.


Why this book?: I’ve heard a lot about this series, especially from a friend who prompted me to read this in return for her to read The Abyss Surrounds Us. Also was intrigued in it being described as the “Game of Thrones for YA”!

 

Bland characters, plot, and . . . everything else

While the plot of this saga is started in a very interesting and intriguing way, that feeling only lasted for the first few chapters. Afterwards, I really had no interest in . . . anything. The plot was presented as such a complex and long basis for the first book, but I had honestly no clue as to what was going on. It almost felt like A Game of Thrones, but with the plot extremely sped up. Even the magic system was disappointing, being the basic element magic, but under the guise of “elementia”.

None of the characters were at all worthwhile. The moment you met each of them, you could label each with a stereotype/archetype, and be basically ready to handle anything the character could do. There was very little variation, and these characters weren’t at all original. Not only that, but, once again, a large majority of the characters just seemed like Game of Thrones rip offs.

Falling Kingdoms is built and developed like any generic YA high fantasy, and that was extremely disappointing. I was expecting something new, something different, and something exciting. Instead, I got old, overused, boring tropes that I found that I didn’t care for at all.

There’s a difference between being inspired by and completely copying a work

It was impossible not to notice when this book was legit marketed as a “YA Game of Thrones”.  There was a lot of fairly unique plot points and character quirks that were obviously taken from the novels. The sibling romance, the “Theon” character, to name a few. Having previously read A Song of Ice and Fire, the original series, I was a little . . . put off with how much was obviously and blatantly taken from these well-known novels.

I was honestly only able to bear this book up to a point, and barely got half-way through before I decided to call quits. The characters quickly became unbearable because of how irrational they were acting, only to further the plot. Even the few characters that I actually enjoyed soon became boring, until I was only reading this because I felt obligated to.

There was literally nothing special about this book. I wish not to sound so cruel, but everything in this book can be found in other, better books. Namely A Game of Thrones, but a few other fantasy novels come to mind. I was actually blown away with the fact that if you compared the ASOIAF and the Falling Kingdoms maps, they were strikingly similar except for the finer details.

Final Rating: ★½☆☆☆☆

Overall?

I was basically reading a book within a book. While I found the writing decent, and the fact that I was actually interested within the first few chapters, these facts don’t excuse the obvious plagiarism. The facts were changed just enough that someone who wouldn’t know better would never notice, and would probably actually love this series.

Would I Recommend?

If you’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire, no. The similarities will just anger you. If you haven’t, and would prefer a tamer version of the honest depiction that ASOIAF give you? Sure, pick this up. But I seriously recommend A Song of Ice and Fire instead, mainly because the world building and ideas are more intricate and genuine.


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Additional Information:

Published: December 11th, 2012

Publisher: Razorbill

Page Count: 412

Genre: Fantasy/YA/High Fantasy

Synopsis:

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

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